Friday, March 23, 2007

Vision: Rail soon, NW Tucson to SE & GV, Nogales

4/5 Tucson Citizen: Patterson supports biodiesel

TUCSON -- As I talk with people all over our big city about maybe running for Mayor, issues almost everyone mentions are energy and transportation.

We need additional affordable and sustainable alternatives to 'one person, one car' commuting, and getting around in growing million person plus metro Tucson.

Tucson needs a strong Mayor who will motivate the UP Railroad, Pima County, ADoT and all sides to sit down and agree on how to soon start cost-efficient heavy rail passenger service, on the existing lines or within existing railroad rights-of-way.

Walkup hasn't done it.

Some example train stops could be, northwest to southeast -- Red Rock, Marana, Grant Road, Downtown/UA, S. Tucson, DM, Houghton Rd./SE Tucson, Vail and Benson; also north-south trains to and from Downtown/UA to the Southside, Tucson Airport (TIA), Sahuarita, Green Valley, Rio Rico and Nogales.

This metro area system would also connect with the Tucson-Phoenix passenger line.

Bikes could be brought on the trains, like is allowed on the BART system in the SF Bay Area. Buses would provide good service out from the stops. The Downtown depot and Downtown Tucson would surely benefit.

Trains work all over America and the world, and they will work in Tucson to move people better, conserve, and help the economy.

But only if we elect a Tucson Mayor who has the vision and leadership to get it done.

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