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One, two, three…
Jonathan Rothschild: Good morning. I’m Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and I’m pleased to welcome
you to the construction kickoff celebration of the modern streetcar.
Jonathan Rothschild: We’re here at the University of Arizona one of Tucson’s leading employers
and a key stakeholder in the modern streetcar project from the beginning. This is a milestone
event for our city and this innovative transit project. This modern streetcar route is going
to connect neighborhoods. It’s going to connect homes. It’s going to connect businesses.
It’s going to connect shops, restaurants and entertainment and most importantly, it’s
going to connect our world class university, its faculty and students to a downtown and
a west side that is finally coming into its own. The 3.9 mile long Sunlink system will
connect Tucson’s birthplace on the west side near the Mercado San Augustine with downtown.
It will connect shopping districts at 4th Avenue and Main Gate Square with the University
of Arizona, the University of Arizona with the Arizona Health Sciences Center and with
other major research institutions such as Bio 5. Behind you, directly behind you, is
the eastern most stop of the streetcar system at Helen and Warren.
Ray LaHood: Hello Tucson! I want to single out just for a moment these extraordinary
people sitting here in the hard hats who will actually build this rail line and make it
happen. All of you stand up. Let’s thank them for what they will do to build this magnificent
streetcar line. Thank you guys and gals.
Eugene Sander: The modern streetcar and the impact it will have on the University of Arizona
is large. Already you will notice we are a relatively landlocked campus. There is no
way that we will grow much like our sister university north of us 110 miles. On the other
hand with the availability of modern, clean, sustainable transportation that will impact
50,000 students including not only our students on this campus, but also Pima Community College
students. It will make an expansion into the downtown area of Tucson a reality. Already
we have programs in downtown Tucson from our College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture,
our College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and we think that will nothing but increase
with the availability of transportation to and from our campus in the downtown area.
Jonathan Rothschild: Now what does the construction of the modern streetcar mean for Tucson and
our region? What it’s really going to do is help drive our economy into the early part
of the twenty first century. It’s going to help us create jobs. If we have the same
success here that they’ve had in Tampa and that they’ve had in Little Rock with very
similarly scoped projects we can expect between an additional 400 to 800 million dollars of
economic development along the streetcar route that’s what the importance of this is.