Phoenix Prop 104: A $31 Billion Mistake, Says Councilman Sal DiCiccio

Phoenix voters will vote on August 25, 2015, to approve or disapprove Proposition 104. The proposal would, among other things, provide for a light rail system in Phoenix and impose a tax to support the system. There are strong proponents and opponents of the proposal. Phoenix city councilman Sal DiCiccio is one of the opponents. He explains his concerns in this report.

Sal DiCiccio

Sal DiCiccio

Proponents of the light rail system say that it will increase economic development in the Phoenix area. Councilman DiCiccio says that the only real benefit will be to developers whose property is next to the light rail line. Another problem with the light rail is cost per mile. Councilman DiCiccio says that a freeway will cost $50-60 million per mile to build and operate. The light rail, however, will cost $161 million per mile. It doesn’t make economic sense.

The current projected daily use, assuming round trip travel, involves about 22,000, a figure less than .5% of the population of the metro area. Councilman DiCiccio points out that the average street carries about as many people as the light rail system will carry. Using the 22,000 figure, someone has figured out that the City of Phoenix could buy a new Prius for each of the train riders and still have $1 billion left over. Councilman DiCiccio says that, for $31 billion, the city could buy 2.2 million Smart cars, enough for everyone in the City of Phoenix.

Councilman DiCiccio says that the money for the light rail system should be put into the education system.

Sal DiCiccio is a member of the Phoenix, Arizona City Council, representing District 6. He was appointed to the District 6 seat on February 10, 2009, to serve a partial term, after former District 6 representative Greg Stanton was elected as Mayor of Phoenix. DiCiccio was elected to a full term in November 2009. He previously represented District 6 on city council from 1994 to 2002 His professional experience includes working on the staff of U.S. Senator John McCain. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.