Mesa: ICYMI: Stanton Announces $15.9 Million Federal Grant to Advance Rio East-Dobson Streetcar Extension

~ In a recent announcement, Representative Greg Stanton revealed that Valley Metro has been awarded a $15,939,835 federal grant to support the Rio East-Dobson Streetcar Extension (REDE) project. This grant, funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is part of the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.

The REDE project aims to expand the existing 3-mile Valley Metro Streetcar by an additional 4.35 miles, extending it from Tempe into Mesa. The RAISE grant funds will be used to complete design and environmental work for the project.

Representative Stanton expressed his excitement for this investment in a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg earlier this year. He emphasized the potential of the streetcar to boost economic development in Mesa, similar to its success in Tempe.

Leaders from Mesa, Tempe, and Valley Metro have all praised the grant award announcement. Mesa Mayor John Giles stated that this grant is a "transformative investment" for their community's future. He believes that it will prepare the area for anticipated population growth and increased employment opportunities. Mayor Giles also expressed his gratitude towards Representative Stanton for his efforts in advancing transportation infrastructure in their region.

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Mesa Vice Mayor Francisco Heredia, who is also the incoming Chair of Valley Metro Rail, highlighted the demand for efficient transportation options in West Mesa. He believes that the REDE project will not only enhance connectivity between Tempe and Mesa but also provide vital high-capacity transit options for historically underserved areas. Vice Mayor Heredia thanked Representative Stanton for his commitment to improving public transit in their region and looks forward to working with stakeholders and the community to make this project a reality.

Tempe Vice Mayor Jennifer Adams also praised this investment as critical to their local economy, residents, and environment. She believes that expanding public transportation options will not only ease traffic congestion but also help meet their environmental sustainability goals. Vice Mayor Adams, who currently sits on the Board of Directors for Valley Metro, thanked Representative Stanton and Senators Kelly and Sinema for their efforts in securing crucial funding to improve their infrastructure and meet the community's needs.

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Valley Metro CEO Jessica Mefford-Miller expressed her excitement for the grant award and the partnership between Valley Metro, the cities of Tempe and Mesa, and their federal elected leaders. She believes that this grant will help advance the REDE project into engineering as they seek to add travel options, create safer streets, and improve air quality and connectivity in a corridor with diverse neighborhoods, activity centers, and extensive growth.

The RAISE grant is a significant step towards making the Rio East-Dobson Streetcar Extension a reality. With this investment, Valley Metro is one step closer to expanding their streetcar network into the East Valley by 2024. This project will not only benefit residents but also contribute to economic growth and sustainability in the region.

Filed Under: Government, City

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