Changes coming to downtown Phoenix light rail; city council to vote on Tuesday

PHOENIX - Big changes are coming to downtown Phoenix's light rail system to help you get around more easily and the City Council is being asked to vote on a more streamlined design.   

The goal now is to create a transfer hub, like you see in other cities, where you can switch train lines from the same platform.

Plans are already moving forward to create a new track that will loop from the downtown core to the State Capitol, but over the last year, designers have realized the current plan will force passengers to get off the main line at one stop and walk four blocks to hop on the Capitol train. 

The updated proposal is to move two planned platforms and center them all on the block lined by Washington, Jefferson, Central and First Avenue creating a transfer hub. They'd also add a third platform for passengers who want to switch to the South Central line which is another new extension that'll take riders south of the sports arenas.   

Engineers are also calling to add a short stretch of track between Washington and Jefferson in front of Chase Field, and also on Third Avenue near City Hall. That will allow the trains to switch tracks and loop around if they have to and allow the South Central and Capitol routes to run on their own tracks which would ease the impact on car traffic. 

The council will be asked to take action and approve the change at a meeting Tuesday afternoon. 

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