Rail System Fact Sheet | Valley Metro
light rail vehicle

FY20 Facts and Figures

About Valley Metro Rail

Valley Metro Rail is responsible for the planning, design, construction and operations of the region’s light rail/high-capacity transit system, serving nearly 13 million total passengers in Fiscal Year 2020.

The initial 20-mile light rail line opened on December 27, 2008. Two extensions began service by spring 2016, adding six more miles and connecting downtown Mesa to northwest Phoenix. In 2019, the line extended 1.9 miles east to the new Gilbert Rd/Main St light rail station, where there are additional transit connections. The 50th St/Washington station also opened in 2019 with enhanced accessibility features, including advanced pedestrian detection crosswalk signals, wider platforms and gently sloped entries.

The 38 stations were designed with significant consideration given to the desert sun and heat. Eleven park-and-rides provide 4,488 parking spaces along 28 miles. Artwork is also an integral part of the urban system, reflecting the history and culture of local neighborhoods.

Each light rail vehicle has a comfort capacity of 175 passengers and features state-of-the-art technology designed for the urban desert climate.

The system is expanding, with three new extensions currently under construction: Northwest Extension Phase II, South Central Extension/Downtown Hub and Tempe Streetcar.

System Overview

  • Daily riders graph - details appear in text
    Number of miles: 28
  • Number of stations: 38
  • Number of vehicles: 50
  • Number of parking spaces: 4,488
  • Total travel time: 90 minutes
  • Cost to ride:
    • $2.00 per ride
    • $4.00 1-Day Pass

FY20 Rail Ridership:
12.8 million rail riders

Daily Average Riders

  • Weekdays: 38,532
  • Saturdays: 30,030
  • Sundays: 24,148

Ten Busiest Stations

  1. 19th Ave/Dunlap
  2. Gilbert Rd/Main St
  3. 19th Ave/Montebello
  4. 44th St/Washington
  5. 19th Ave/Camelback
  6. Van Buren/Central Ave
  7. Veterans Way/College Ave
  8. University Dr/Rural
  9. Jefferson/1st Ave
  10. McDowell/Central Ave
woman wearing a mask on public transit
To stop the spread of COVID-19, riders are required to wear face coverings and encouraged to social distance on board.


Valley Metro Rail operates 365 days a year, 20+ hours a day, with 12-minute peak frequency. In March 2020, peak hour service was adjusted to operate every 15 minutes as a response to COVID-19 impacts. The cost of operations is supported by rail member cities, passenger fares and advertising

Rail service is coordinated with bus service to provide a seamless transit network for customers. Transit passes can be purchased at fare vending machines located at each station, online or from retail outlets valley wide. Security officers regularly patrol the system and ask passengers at random for proof of payment. Violators are subject to fines ranging from $50 to $500 and can even lose their transit privileges. As of FY 2020, 10 Customer Experience Coordinators were added as a way to help riders throughout the system, providing a welcoming presence and aiding with wayfinding and purchasing correct fare

The Valley Metro Rail system connects the region to the cities of Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. It provides connections to work, education and entertainment. There are many sports, shopping, restaurants and arts and culture destinations along the line. Valley Metro Rail also connects to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with PHX Sky Train® at the 44th St/Washington station.

Funding sources graph - details appear in text
Rail is a catalyst for jobs and economic development with $14.4 billion in public and private sector investment since 2008.

Funding Sources

  • 3% Federal
  • 3% Advertising
  • 16% Fares
  • 78% Member cities

Future Expansion

Five high-capacity extensions are planned or under construction to create a 50-mile system by 2030. The Valley Metro Rail Board of Directors sets the policy direction for the system with the intent of advancing regional public transit in the Valley.

Future Expansion Map - details in text below.

Future Extension Map details

  • Current Valley Metro Rail from Dunlap Avenue in Phoenix to Gilbert Road in Mesa
  • Northwest Phase II Light Rail Extension west on Dunlap Avenue from 19th Avenue, then north on 25th Avenue and across I-17 at Mountain View Road, ending on the west side of the freeway near the former Microcenter Mall., 2024 completion date
  • Tempe Streetcar through downtown Tempe and Arizona State University, from Rio Salado Parkway to Apache Boulevard and Ash Avenue., 2021 completion date
  • Capitol/I-10 West Phase I Light Rail Extension from downtown Phoenix to the Capitol area, 2024 completion date
  • Capitol/I-10 West Phase II Light Rail Extension, 2030 completion date with the existing Valley Metro Rail system in downtown Phoenix, to the 79th Avenue Park-and-Ride.
  • South Central Light Rail Extension will connect South Phoenix to the regional light rail system, operating from downtown Phoenix to Baseline Road, 2024 completion date
  • West Phoenix Transit Corridor Study, 2040 completion date
  • Northeast Transit Feasibility Corridor Study, 2040 completion date
  • Operations and Maintenance Center Expansion, 2021 completion date