During the five years of this study, the Arizona Department of Transportation has been working closely with the Federal Railroad Administration and other federal agencies, as well as local governments and planning organizations in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties to determine which routes will move forward for further study. To support that effort, a Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement has been prepared. The decision to pursue the alternatives in the Draft Tier 1 EIS came not only from technical evaluations, but was also largely based on public and agency input. During the study, more than 10,000 people across Arizona have completed surveys to weigh in with their ideas of which routes best served their communities.
The proposed passenger rail line will be designed as a blended service: An express service would have few stops between Tucson and Phoenix, and a local service would stop at several communities along the way.
There is currently no construction schedule and no funding identified for a project to build a rail system between Tucson and Phoenix. It will be up to the public and policymakers to decide if the project is feasible and how to generate the funding to pay for the project.
The next step is a Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement. ADOT continues to work with the Federal Railroad Administration on this phase. The Record of Decision is expected to be complete and signed in Fall 2016.