By November, the East Valley could see construction on its second bus rapid transit servicethat would travel from Arizona Avenue in Chandler, up Country Club Drive in Mesa, and connect with Metro's easternmost light-rail terminus.
The East Valley could see construction on its second bus rapid transit service as early as November.
The new service would travel from Arizona Avenue in Chandler, up Country Club Drive in Mesa, and connect with Metro's easternmost light-rail terminus.
Mesa City Council on Monday authorized the use of eminent domain if the city hits a wall in acquiring locations for the bus stops, which would require increasing the height and extending the width of sidewalks, said Mike James, deputy director of transportation.
"We could use eminent domain to secure land on Country Club Drive for use as shelters and pullouts for the buses along the new route," James said. "There's seven stops in Mesa - and quite a bit more on the whole route coming up from Chandler - and we may need to purchase some property to make room for the stops."
James said the project would cost about $3.9 million, and include 20 stops in total in Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert. The specific locations of the stops have not been finalized, he said.
The stops for the rapid line, known as LINK, would only require use of eminent domain if property owners don't negotiate selling the city the required footage to extend sidewalks along the seven proposed stops in Mesa. LINK buses stop about every mile.
Councilman Dave Richins, who represents a district along the bus route, said it was common for cities to acquire private land for use in public infrastructure projects.
"I would be surprised if we use eminent domain in any onerous fashion with this project," Richins said. "We're just talking about a strip of land in front of property."
Richins said there was also the potential benefit of businesses receiving foot traffic.
"Most business don't mind having a bus stop out in front - it brings retail customers right to their front doors," he said.
There was no public opposition to the decision made by the City Council at Monday's meeting.
Valley Metro spokeswoman Susan Tierney said the LINK line would be the East Valley's second. One already travels along Main Street through Mesa and connects to Mesa's Sycamore light-rail station. She said the new service would start at a park-and-ride in Chandler near Germann Road and Arizona Avenue, and end at the same station.
Construction on the project could start as soon as next month, she said.
Tierney said the new LINK service could be available to commuters as early as July 2010, and that the funds were received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.