• Phoenix, Mesa and Glendale, AZ: Valley Metro Light Rail

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Bethlehem Jct.
There are no existing medians in the middle of 19th Ave. north of Bethany Home Rd. The roads are being widened to allow the same number of lanes of vehicular traffic on either side of the tracks. The stations require an even wider area to accommodate platforms, tracks and vehicle lanes. All of this requires acquisition of property along the entire route. It also means that the entire street is being rebuilt, right down to sidewalks and curbs and street lights.

I don't know if $65 Million is too high, but the extension of the line is not as trivial as some people seem to think it will be.
  by electricron
Patrick Boylan wrote:I still have to agree with amtrakowitz, $65million seems excessive for an existing system's reserved right of way in streets and 4 stations extension, and I haven't seen you give any decent arguments to justify it.

Does anybody have cost figures on the original system?
Yes, it's available on the internet. A simple search should find it.
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/ ... y1209.html
"The $1.4 billion spent to create Metro's 20-mile "starter line," which opens later this month, is a down payment."
$1,400,000,000 / 20 = $70,000,000 per mile.
That was 4 years ago when the initial line opened.
$65,000,000 per mile today should look like a bargain.
  by lpetrich
Construction begins on Light Rail expansion (Jan 11 - 16, 2013)
Ground was broken Saturday on a project to extend metro Phoenix's light rail system by three miles.

The new section of line will be built on 19th Avenue in Phoenix from Montebello Avenue northward to Dunlap Avenue
Providing Public Transportation Alternatives for the Greater Phoenix Metro Area | Valley Metro | Extensions

There's another extension under construction, into central Mesa. It's in utility relocation.

Sky Train to open in early 2013 -- an airport light-rail system that runs between the Valley Metro light-rail line and Sky Harbor airport.
  by Bethlehem Jct.
electricron wrote:Does anyone know when the expansion should be open for service?
Valley Metro is projecting "late 2015/early 2016."
I'm optimistic that it will be open on time since the original 20 mile line opened on time.
  by Jeff Smith
News on West Valley extension: YourWestValley.com
Valley Metro studies West Valley light rail

Valley Metro has begun its transit corridor study for Central Glendale and West Phoenix and led a public meeting on the project at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

There’s no guarantee of a light rail extension or that the project will directly serve downtown Glendale, when it comes online in 2026, but that scenario was the source of much of Thursday’s debate.

“We’ve been looking at a Glendale alignment for many years because we passed the Glendale GO Transportation Tax in 2001,” Glendale Transit Manager Matt Dudley said. “We spent a couple of years studying alignments. Now it’s beginning to pick up steam. At first it was planned for 2017, but the economy took a hit, and we had to push it back.”


The vast study area is from Loop 101 east to 19th Avenue and from Northern Avenue south to Camelback Road.
  by lpetrich
PHX Sky Train® is now in operation between Terminal 4 and the 44th Street and Washington Valley Metro Light Rail station. The PHX Sky Train System has a 30m tall bridge running across a taxiway that links the south and north runways. - Image - Railway Technology. Its height is 100 feet, and it's for going above airliners' vertical tail fins. Gannett Fleming designed the rail system and bridges, while HOK designed the stations. Image courtesy of dsearls. - Image - Railway Technology shows that bridge under construction. It seems wide enough for many airliners' wings.

Central Mesa Extension Installation of rail has started, and its builders still expecting to open in late 2015 or early 2016. It extends the existing line eastward from Sycamore / Main St. station to Mesa Dr.

Northwest Extension I It's also half-done, and it should also open in late 2015 or early 2016. It extends the existing line northward from Christown Spectrum Mall to Dunlap Ave.

Several are in planning:

Gilbert Road Extension extends the Central Mesa extension even further east. Construction should start in 2015 and it should open in 2018.

Tempe Streetcar will run on Mill Ave. and Apache Blvd., making a right angle where the Phoenix light-rail line makes a diagonal. Beyond that, its planners have two options for its route.

Capitol / I-10 Westl will run from downtown Phoenix west to 79th Ave. It should open in 2023.

Northwest Extension II goes from Dunlap Ave. to Metrocenter Mall. It should open in 2026.
  by Jeff Smith
In the news: Your West Valley

Brief, fair-use quote:
Glendale light rail/bus extension on track for 2016 decision

Three potential routes remain under study for extending Valley Metro’s light-rail line from west Phoenix into downtown Glendale by the year 2026. Adding rapid-transit bus service along those same routes is an alternative being explored as well.


The three route alternatives being considered from 19th Avenue west include:
Glendale Avenue
Camelback Road to 43rd Avenue north to Glendale Avenue
Camelback Road to Grand Avenue to 51st Avenue north to the downtown area
A route along Bethany Home Road was eliminated because of the single-family home dominated neighborhood, Pyne said.
Within the downtown area, six routes are being considered, including:
Lamar Road and 55th Drive
Glendale Avenue
Glenn Dr./Palmaire Ave. and 55th Ave.
Palmaire and 55th avenues
Myrtle Ave./Palmaire Ave. and 51st Ave., and
Glenn Dr./Palmaire Ave. and 51st Ave.
  by Jeff Smith
Decided this merited a separate topic: ABC15

Brief, fair-use quote:
Valley Metro holding public meetings to update study on bringing light rail, buses to Glendale

GLENDALE, AZ - Valley Metro celebrated the light rail’s expansion into Mesa Wednesday, but it is also looking into possibly bringing the rail to Glendale.

It’s called the “West Phoenix/Central Glendale Transit Corridor ” study. It is focused on connecting downtown Glendale with the current light rail system, whether that is through extension of the train or adding in bus routes or combination of the two.

The study, which started in 2013, identified a transit service area from 19th to 67th avenues and Northern Avenue to Camelback Road. Through the study, proposed route options have been made.
  by lpetrich
The Central Mesa Extension opened on August 22:
valleymetro.org: Central Mesa Extension
Valley Metro opens Central Mesa extension
 | Railway Track & Structures
It opened 7 months ahead of schedule, though the articles gave no hint as to why this remarkable performance.

The northwest extension is scheduled to open next March, and from the second article, "Valley Metro will continue to expand in the East Valley with two additional miles of service to Gilbert Road with an opening anticipated for 2018."
  by Jeff Smith
Glendale extension routes coming into focus: Your West Valley
Favorites emerge among Glendale light-rail options

GLENDALE, Ariz. – A route using Camelback Road, 43rd Avenue and Glendale Avenue is emerging as the first choice should city officials opt to have Valley Metro extend its light-rail line into the downtown area.

The Valley-wide public transit agency, which opened the first portions of its rail network in Phoenix in 2008, is also evaluating a route along Camelback using a portion of Grand and 51st avenues to link with Glendale Avenue. And the agency has not ruled out extending the line from its present course along 19th Avenue in Phoenix entirely along Glendale Avenue west into downtown, though there are much fewer advantages to that option.

Valley Metro also continues to weigh implementing bus rapid-transit service along all three of those routes rather than rail.
  by lpetrich
Valley Metro opens Mesa light-rail extension and The newest light rail track expands farther into Mesa at Gilbert Road Thus extending the east end of the line.

Some possible extensions branch off from this part of the line: Arizona Avenue Alternatives Analysis | Valley Metro for Chandler, and Fiesta District Alternatives Analysis | Valley Metro

Crews begin laying streetcar track in Tempe from late last year. It should open in 2021.

South Central Extension/Downtown Hub | Valley Metro - South Central Light Rail Extension, Phoenix, United States of America
Phoenix City Council approved the change of the opening date of the South Central light rail extension to 2023 from 2034 in January 2016. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved funding for the project in April 2019, allowing it to enter the engineering phase.

Construction of the project is expected to be commenced in early 2020, while the new line is scheduled to enter service in 2023.
Also running from where this extension branches off is another extension: Capitol/I-10 West | Valley Metro Also westward is West Phoenix Transit Corridor Study | Valley Metro to Glendale, and Northwest Phase II Extension | Valley Metro from the northwest end of the line.