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Federal grant sought by Tucson Mayor Regina Romero for transportation plan

Federal grant for transit study, expanded options
Posted at 11:00 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 01:00:51-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Fresh off a trip to Washington, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero says she wants to keep a campaign promise: improve mass transit in Tucson.

"I think that we have to continue exploring how we move in this community, how we make it easier for mobility to happen."

Part of her plan relies on a possible grant from Washington D.C.

It would fund a study on what mass transit options would work for the busiest routes in Tucson.

"If a bus rapid transit system makes sense or if an extension of the streetcar makes sense," Romero said.

She add either of those options would connect commuters from the Tucson Mall to Tucson International Airport.

A bus rapid transit system would cost less, though it would require a dedicated lane of traffic, according to Romero.

"The City of Tucson is in a very good position to receive that transit oriented development grant."

When asked if a privately funded study was an option, Romero's office said the city was not aware of any such opportunities.

"We want to make sure that when we're studying this, that we're also planning ahead and making investments for affordable housing in these areas."

Romero says she wants to a make a priority of keeping real estate along any future developed routes affordable.F

For this, she says, the city has $4 million to buy property for future housing projects.