U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made a visit to Phoenix as part of a larger infrastructure tour. During his visit, Buttigieg toured the light rail extension project and discussed its role in supporting the Phoenix economy and creating good paying union jobs. As one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas, Phoenix has a critical need for transit options to connect residents to work and education.
The light rail system has been an ongoing initiative and project supported by the SWRCC. The Union has helped garner community support for financial backing of the project as well as supplied workers to complete rail extension phases.
- 24 SWRCC members are currently working on the Phase II project with an expected 150 workers at the peak of the project, which is tracking ahead of schedule.
- Phase II of the Northwest Extension is adding 1.6 miles of light rail, extending west on Dunlap Avenue from 19th Avenue, north on 25th Avenue and across I-17 on Mountain View Road with a terminus on the west side of the freeway near Metrocenter Mall.
- The project is funded through Transportation 2050, a 35-year, multi-modal transportation plan approved by Phoenix voters, as well as regional transportation funds and a grant from the Federal Transit Administration.
- The light rail system can accommodate up to 12,000 passengers per hour, the same as a six-lane freeway – helping more than 15.7 million riders reach their destinations quickly and reduce their impact on the environment each year.
“I want to thank Secretary Buttigieg for coming out to Phoenix to see how projects like the South Central Rail, which will employ over 150 Union Carpenters, create community wealth. I had the opportunity to speak with him about light rail projects in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa, as well as the importance of the I-11 from Phoenix to Las Vegas. The Secretary, and the other civic leaders who joined me at the Rail project Thursday, understand that infrastructure means more than modernizing our rails, roads, and bridges. It means being able to put food on your family’s table and earn your way into the middle class. It means being able to provide a better life for your children.” – Fabian Sandez, President of Local 1912