Valley Metro continues to grow.
The streets in downtown Tempe might be littered with traffic cones right now but it will be well worth it soon enough. Those new tracks that have been placed in the street will not remain unused much longer as Valley Metro’s latest rail project is well on its way.
One of the most exciting projects is edging closer to its completion date by the day, Tempe Streetcar.
In general, streetcar and light rail operate differently. Streetcar is well suited for making more frequent stops and moving riders within a smaller geographic area, like downtown Tempe. Light rail is designed for longer distance trips with less frequent stops.
The streetcar project will include three miles of track, 14 stops and two connections to Valley Metro Rail platforms at Mill Ave and 3rd St along with Dorsey and Apache Blvd. The stops were selected based on criteria such as the accessibility to bus and rail connections, access to activity centers, development and redevelopment potential and more.
While many are expected to benefit from the newest feature from Valley Metro, students at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus are anticipated to make up much of its ridership.
“When Tempe Streetcar begins operating in 2021, it will bring another layer of transportation options to the thousands of students, faculty and staff at ASU’s Tempe campus – adding to the city’s comprehensive transit network that includes buses, Orbit neighborhood circulators, light rail and more than 215 miles of bikeways,” said Amanda Nelson, city of Tempe community relations officer for the project.
“Students will be able to connect to locations throughout campus, downtown Tempe and the many student housing locations near campus, making it even easier to get to classes, jobs, football games, campus activities, and Tempe’s many bars and restaurants.”
The 50,000 students at the Tempe campus will be able to access streetcar to connect to light rail and travel to many other destinations in the Valley.
“With the majority of the 3-mile route hugging the Tempe campus, we anticipate streetcar being a popular transportation mode among ASU students,” Nelson added. “It will provide a convenient way for students to get to classes, sporting and entertainment events, housing, employment, shopping and more.”
Progress on the Tempe Streetcar continues every day as its completion date draws closer.