Brightline, a private train operator, is an intriguing option for train service to some rail advocates.
Rail advocates argue that Phoenix and Tucson need daily rail transit between the two cities. Early examinations of the idea determined that a $6 billion dollar investment could build the service. "The problem with that plan has to do with the Arizona Constitution. Article 9, Section 14 states that money generated from fees, taxes or the use of vehicles on highways and streets must be spent on the highways and streets," Shaq Davis reports for the Arizona Daily Star.
Amtrak runs a once-every-three-days service from Maricopa to Tucson, but lacks the infrastructure to complete the trip. "Amtrak would need approval for increased capacity on the rail line from Union Pacific Corp., which operates it. What halted the change is the asking price to upgrade the track and restore it between Maricopa and Phoenix, which hasn’t been used in 20 years. The cost was determined to be at least $500 million," Davis writes. Some in the region are promoting a private option. Virgin Trains USA, formerly Brightline, is the only private passenger rail service in the country, operating in Florida. All Aboard Arizona hopes to convince them to consider the Tucson-to-Phoenix corridor on a future next project.
Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects
Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.
Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’
A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?
Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing
A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.
Report: U.S. Biking Boom Slows
The pandemic bike boom is petering out, but more Americans are biking than ever before, signaling a need for cities to keep improving bike infrastructure and make roads safer for cyclists.
Tempe Historic Preservation Proposal Could Make it Harder to Build New Homes
Proposed changes to the city’s preservation ordinance would make two-thirds of the city’s housing stock eligible for preservation.
How to Measure Transit Equity
A new report highlights the need to go beyond traditional equity metrics to assess how public transit systems are serving the lowest-income and most disadvantaged riders.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Mpact: Mobility, Community, Possibility
Lassen County Planning and Building Services
City of San Carlos
National Capital Planning Commission
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.