Newsroom | Message From the Chair, May 2024

MAG News

Mayor Kate Gallego, MAG chair, discusses the importance of our region's transportation infrastructure in her quarterly Message From the Chair.

Regional Council, Chair Message

Transportation is connection. Our transportation network connects us to our homes, our schools, and our jobs. It connects us to our friends, to our faith communities, and to our favorite places to relax or seek adventure. It connects us to the goods and services we need every day — bringing groceries home to our loved ones, medical supplies to our doctors’ offices, and emergency responders to our doorstep in times of crisis. 

But one transportation connection often gets overlooked: its link to our economy. Without an effective transportation network, business development simply wouldn’t happen. A prime example is the recent $65 billion investment by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to build a chipmaking facility on 1,100 acres in northwest Phoenix. This investment represents the largest foreign direct investment in Arizona history, and the largest foreign direct investment in a greenfield project in U.S. history.

TSMC has noted this investment would not have happened without access to the Loop 303 freeway and the ability to connect workers to its 4,500 high-tech, high-wage jobs. 

TSMC under construction near the Loop 303 Freeway.

TSMC while under construction near the Loop 303 Freeway.

The Regional Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Investment Plan (RSTIIP) outlines the transportation improvements for the next 20 years. Each year of that plan, these improvements are projected to create $2.4 billion in net new economic activity, create and support 31,600 jobs, and save local businesses $1.6 billion in travel time savings and reduced shipping/logistics costs. 

Other savings are measured in our quality of life. Getting to work on time in the morning and getting home in time to have dinner with our kids are priceless benefits. Based on a MAG analysis, by implementing the plan’s investments, the region’s average commute length in 2050 is projected to remain at 30-minutes, even after adding 1.7 million people and 900,000 jobs. That’s shorter than the current average commutes for those living in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Seattle.

Funding for the projects outlined in the RSTIIP include projected revenues from a continuation of the dedicated half-cent sales tax for transportation, which will be presented to Maricopa County voters through Proposition 479 this November. 

Funding for the projects in the plan also come from other revenue sources. In fact, state statute requires all funding sources available to the region be used to develop the plan. Combined, $28.2 billion in revenues are projected through 2045 (estimated in 2020 dollars).

For more information about the investments in the plan, visit

Published May 7, 2024