The 2016 American Public Transportation Association Rail Conference and International Rail Rodeo will be held in Phoenix from June 15 to June 22. More than 2,500 rail professionals and CEOs from around the country will be attending the transit industry conference. Scott Smith, interim CEO of Valley Metro, which runs light rail here in the Phoenix area, will tell us more about the conference.
A new audit by the city of Phoenix shows that the former CEO of the Valley’s transit system received $277,000 in reimbursements for expenses that are under question. Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts talks about the audit into the possible misuse of funds by former Valley Metro CEO Stephen Banta.
Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith has been hired to take over the agency that oversees the Phoenix area’s transit system. The previous executive, Stephen Banta, is under criminal investigation for questionable expenses. Smith will talk about his new role
Phoenix has been honored as a technology leader for using digital solutions to improve citizen engagement. Phoenix came in third among cities of 250,000 residents or more in the 2015 Digital Cities Survey organized by E.Republic’s Center for Digital Government. Maria Hyatt, public transit director for the city of Phoenix, will tell us more.
Two local non-profits have received $30 million in federal funding to help develop business and housing near transit routes. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Raza Development Fund (RDF) received the money. Terry Benelli, executive director of Phoenix LISC, will tell us more.
Newly re-elected Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton makes his monthly appearance to talk about top issues for the city, including a measure that was approved by voters to expand light rail and other transit services.
Phoenix’s Proposition 104 would increase and extend a current tax to pay for expansion of light rail and other transportation projects. Randal O’Toole, a Cato Institute Senior Fellow, will speak against the measure, while Phoenix city councilwoman Kate Gallego will speak in favor of it.
The Phoenix City Council has approved a $32 Billion 35-year transportation plan that would expand light rail and bus service and make street improvements. The plan includes a tax increase that would have to be approved by voters. Activist Becky Fenger will discuss her opposition to the plan.
Phoenix city officials are conducting community workshops to get ideas and input regarding development along the city’s light rail line. The goal: to develop walkable communities that work in conjunction with mass transit. Alan Stephenson is the acting planning and development director for Phoenix and will discuss the effort.
Federal officials announced last week that Mesa’s light rail extension to Gilbert Road posed no environmental or cultural threats and allowed it to proceed. Mesa’s Transit Services Director Jodi Sorrell will discuss the extension.
A measure to permanently extend a one-cent state sales tax is on the November ballot. The Quality Education and Jobs initiative would use that money to pay for education and road, rail, transit and other transportation projects. Ann-Eve Pedersen, Chairman of the Quality Education and Jobs initiative, will speak for the initiative. State Treasurer Doug Ducey will talk in opposition to the measure.
The Sustainability-inclined segments include EcoScraps, a company that turns spoiled produce into garden compost; Clean Air Cab, an eco-friendly cab company; and Transit Oriented Development along the Valley’s light rail line.
The heart of Tempe’s public transportation infrastructure is gaining international attention for its world class sustainable design. Architect and Principal Planner for the city’s Transportation division, Bonnie Richardson, takes us on a tour of this award-winning building.