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MICK Gentleman has highlighted the importance of a future city-wide Light Rail Network after touring Tucson, Arizona with industry and business leaders today.
“It was a pleasure to be able to see Stage 1 of Tucson’s light rail network today, which stretches for approximately 10kms across the city,” Mick said.
“The first stage was opened in 2014 by the local government and has many similarities with the first stage of Capital Metro in Canberra.
“The local government, as with the ACT Government, also recognised the importance of extending the first stage, to build a city-wide network. Work is currently underway to begin the second and subsequent stages of the light rail network in Tucson.
— mike graham (@MikeRGraham21) February 21, 2016
“The ACT Government is working on a range of initiatives to assist commuters to get out of the car and onto public transport or active travel modes for part of, or all of, their commute.
“Car dominated cities are a thing of the past. We can no longer ignore the affects car dependence has on our environment and climate change, the time to act is now.
“In Tucson many people have swapped the car, or modified their use of vehicles, opting for sustainable modes of transport, including light rail, cycling and walking.
“Today we also visited the Sun Link street car, which recently celebrated its first birthday. The street car project has provided many positive outcomes for the city, including an increase in development around the stations and central points along the transport routes.
“Along the 4 Mile, 23 stop route we have seen streets with over $1.5 billion worth of public and private investment along the new corridor. The area now boasts brand new restaurants, student accommodation, over 30,000 new units, pedestrians and vibrant communities.
“New development which has included 5 hotels, the first ones built in 25 years and the first grocery store built in the last 45 – 50 years. The line has also greatly assisted Tucson fast growing university sector, by being able to provide greater transport options to those who choose to study in the area.
“It has been fantastic to see how light rail can transform a city, whilst carrying 4,000 passengers every weekday. There is a stark difference between areas of Tucson Arizona that have light rail and those that do not,” Minister Gentleman concluded.
The delegation will stay in Tucson tomorrow with a focus on innovative active travel options.