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Rail backers say cities need to push for funds

(File photo)

(File photo)

Backers of light-rail say they are lobbying hard for more federal funds for new rail systems in Tempe, Mesa and elsewhere. The East Valley Tribune says Metro officials are touting a higher ridership than what was originally projected.

City officials with a stake in light-rail claim Metro has led to nearly $7 billion in development along the route, which they say justifies the system’s $1.4 billion cost.

That may not be enough for some. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith says some members of Arizona’s Congressional delegation may not favor Metro rail funding because of an anti-spending climate in Washington.

Federal Transit Administration Administrator Peter Rogoff toured the light-rail route Monday and noted the Obama administration’s 2012 budget includes a $200 million Metro extension deeper into Mesa.

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