Public Transit Department Funding Sources
Funding for the Phoenix Public Transit Department comes primarily from sales tax revenues generated by purchases in the city of Phoenix. Sales taxes from the Transit 2000 program, a voter-approved initiative, support bus and Dial-a-Ride services as well as RAPID commuter service and light rail operations.
Funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) typically support capital budget items, planning projects, and homeland security. As the designated recipient of federal grant funds for the Phoenix-Mesa urbanized area, the city of Phoenix oversees pass-through to other governmental agencies in Maricopa County.
Transit projects for these entities are included in the region's Transportation Improvement Program and are annually incorporated into the FTA Section 5307 formula grant application. The monies are passed through on a reimbursement basis after completion of a formal intergovernmental agreement. Public Transit Department staff coordinates federal grants and reporting efforts on behalf of the region.
Transit 2000 – March 2000
A referendum sponsored by the city of Phoenix in November 1997 for a dedicated 0.5 percent sales tax failed by a margin of 122 votes. In March 2000, the City again went to the voters for a 0.4 percent sales tax increase to fund expanded bus service and the construction and operation of a light rail line. Voters passed the measure and the sales tax took effect on June 1, 2000.
The referendum created the Phoenix Citizens Transit Commission (CTC) to assure public input and accountability on all transit and traffic improvements made with Transit 2000 funding. The CTC annually reviews the appropriations and program recommendations of the department. As part of their role, the CTC members review the revenue and expenditure of all funds including other sources, conduct public meetings, and formulate and present recommendations to the City Council on the programs as called for by the proposition.
Transit 2000 publicity pamphlet (PDF)
Proposition 400 - November 2004
On November 2, 2004, Maricopa County voters approved Proposition 400, a county 0.5% sales tax for transportation funding. The Regional Transportation Plan, developed by Valley mayors and business representatives, funds improvements to freeways, streets, and transit services.