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The Latest: Phoenix mayor says rail vote about city’s future

August 28, 2019
FILE - This Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 file photo shows a light rail train in downtown Tempe, Ariz., Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. Phoenix voters are weighing the future of mass rail transit in the nation's fifth largest city heading into the last day to cast ballots on a proposition asking whether any expansion of the light rail system should be permanently halted. Early mail-in ballots have already pushed overall turnout for Tuesday's special election higher than one held four years ago at the height of the Phoenix summer, when many people go on vacation to escape triple-digit temperatures. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
FILE - This Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 file photo shows a light rail train in downtown Tempe, Ariz., Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. Phoenix voters are weighing the future of mass rail transit in the nation's fifth largest city heading into the last day to cast ballots on a proposition asking whether any expansion of the light rail system should be permanently halted. Early mail-in ballots have already pushed overall turnout for Tuesday's special election higher than one held four years ago at the height of the Phoenix summer, when many people go on vacation to escape triple-digit temperatures. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on a ballot measure that sought to halt all extensions to the Phoenix light rail system (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego says that voters’ rejection of an attempt to stop all future development of the light rail system shows residents want a modern, sustainable city that respects mass transit and the urban development that it can bring.

Gallego says the election “was really about the future of Phoenix.”

She said in an interview Wednesday that light rail is an important piece of future plans for Phoenix, now the fifth-largest city in the nation, and Maricopa County, now the fastest growing county.

Community meetings are being planned to discuss the next development, a 5.5-mile extension of the rail into south Phoenix.

Unofficial returns Tuesday showed Phoenix voters saying “yes” to expanding light rail by soundly saying “no” to the ballot measure halting any future expansion.

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2 p.m.

The head of the transit authority in Phoenix says planned development of the light rail system is back on track after a special election this week showed city voters overwhelmingly rejecting a ballot measure that aimed to halt any further expansion.

Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith said Wednesday that groundbreaking for a long-planned extension of the rail into south Phoenix can now go ahead this fall. Valley Metro oversees mass transit across greater Phoenix.

Smith says the regional transportation agency aims to get that 5.5-mile section of the rail finished within about four years.

Unofficial returns show Phoenix voters said “yes” Tuesday to expanding light rail transportation in the nation’s fifth largest city by soundly saying “no” to a measure that sought to stop any more rail development.

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6 a.m.

Unofficial returns show Phoenix voters have said “yes” to expanding light rail transportation in the nation’s fifth largest city by soundly saying “no” to a measure that aimed to stop any more development of the system.

Mayor Kate Gallego expressed confidence Tuesday the measure known as Proposition 105 will be defeated when the rest of the votes are counted. She says, “Light rail expansion is not stopping — not today, not tomorrow.”

Supporters of Proposition 105 are stunned by the early trend against their measure, calling the numbers “disappointing.”

The measure would have halted any future extensions of the 26.3-mile (systems, including one expected to break ground this fall in south Phoenix.

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