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Phoenix light rail expands to new hub downtown

(Source: KTAR) The city of Phoenix said Tuesday it will create a downtown hub that will serve as the eventual center for an expanded Phoenix light rail system.

The Phoenix City Council approved a plan that would add a light rail station on Central Avenue between Jefferson and Washington streets.

The entire expansion was scheduled to be completed in 2023.

The plan would also shift future light rail platforms east on Washington and Jefferson streets between Central and First avenues.

“As light rail expands massively, these new platforms make our system more efficient, and maximize connectivity for passengers trying to get downtown, uptown, to the airport and eventually to south Phoenix,” Mayor Greg Stanton said in a release.

The new station and platforms would be between existing stops and about one block south of Valley Metro’s regional transit hub near Central Avenue and Van Buren Street.

The plan also called for turnaround track near both Fifth Street and Third Avenue.

The city said it has worked for months with planners, Valley Metro and nearby businesses to address as many concerns as it can.

In April, the city council approved a $50 million expansion design plan of the light rail system.

The design phase for the Phoenix light rail is expected to last about two years and will kick-start a larger $704 million project that will extend the system from Central Avenue and Jefferson Street several miles south to Baseline Road.