Group pushes to stop south Phoenix light rail expansion

PHOENIX (AP) — A group of Phoenix residents are hoping to persuade city officials to reverse course and derail a planned expansion of the metro area’s light rail system.

The Arizona Republic reports the city has already approved the 6-mile (10-kilometer) expansion into south Phoenix with construction expected to begin in 2019.

The project will extend the light rail south of downtown along Central Avenue.

Critics say the new line will hurt businesses along the planned route by removing car lanes and diminishing their customer base. The group also says the extension will bring crime to their neighborhoods.

Supporters say the project will drive economic opportunity and help people get to jobs and schools.

The $700 million project will be funded by a city transportation tax and federal transit funds.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral