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Mon, Aug 17, 2015

First Extension Opens Saturday, August 22

PHOENIX, AZ – Seven months ahead of schedule, light rail arrives in downtown Mesa promising new discoveries, opportunities and connections for Valley residents and visitors. This is the first extension since Valley Metro Rail began serving the greater Phoenix area in December 2008.

“Light rail is key in developing the Valley’s transportation infrastructure and economy,” said Valley Metro Rail Board Chair and Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams. “In its first 20 miles, light rail has not only connected residents to jobs, education, retail, dining and entertainment, it has generated more than $8.2 billion in economic investment with plans for more on the way. Congratulations to Valley Metro and Mesa for successfully completing this much-needed extension.”

The additional 3.1-miles of service on Main Street, between Sycamore and Mesa Drive, are anticipated to carry an additional 5,000 daily riders on the system.

“It’s time to officially welcome light rail into downtown Mesa,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “This is a monumental moment. Residents and businesses alike have been eagerly awaiting the opening, which has long been a vision for the community. Very soon, the Valley will discover many of Mesa’s greatest landmarks, rich history, dynamic arts and culture scene, local shopping and restaurants.”

For East Valley residents and visitors, it means seamless access to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and places in Tempe and Phoenix via a new park-and-ride at Mesa Drive and four additional stations.

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“Successfully opening three additional miles of light rail ahead of schedule and under budget indicates the strong partnerships among city and agency staff, local businesses, construction contractors and our federal partners,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO. “Light rail into downtown Mesa moves us closer to the 66-mile high capacity transit system that will connect and shape our region for future generations.”

Opening Celebration
Saturday, August 22, 2015

8 – 9 a.m.              Ribbon cutting ceremony at Center/Main St station
7 – 10 a.m             Free bus shuttle service along event route
9 a.m. – noon         Station celebrations sponsored by Valley Transit Constructors

Station celebrations at the four new stations located on Main Street at Alma School Road, Country Club Drive, Center Street and Mesa Drive will include music, food and activities for the entire family. Click here for details about the activities and themes of each station celebration.

Commemorative passes will be distributed at no cost at all five of Mesa’s Valley Metro Rail stations between 9 a.m. and noon allowing riders to explore the new rail line on August 22. Passes will be for rides on light rail only and do not require validation at a fare vending machine.

About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2015, total ridership for the system was 71 million passengers. The first 20 miles of light rail opened December 2008. Seven light rail extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.
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