Plans are well underway for the South Central light rail extension after Phoenix voters gave their blessing to the five-mile stretch. In a few years, light rail trains will carry passengers to and from downtown Phoenix starting at McKinley Street between 1st Avenue and Central Avenue.
The new light rail corridor continues south on Central Avenue to Baseline Road. Nine light rail stops plus two park-and-rides are planned.
The South Central Extension, along with the new downtown light rail hub, will join the current light rail system in providing safe, reliable, and accessible train service to new areas of South Phoenix. Valley Metro light rail currently operates between between North Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said recently the construction of the South Central extension adds benefits to neighborhoods in the downtown area as well as South Central Phoenix.
The new South Central extension travels through a portion of Phoenix City Council member Carlos Garcia’s district. “The extension of Phoenix light rail in South Phoenix will bring much-needed access to public transit to a part of Phoenix that has historically lacked development and resources,” Garcia said. “We hope the light rail extension will preserve and uplift local businesses in South Phoenix and our office will continue to monitor the development of this project to ensure the voices of residents are heard in the process.”
In 2016, the city of Phoenix mayor and council approved an accelerated opening of the South Central Phoenix Extension from 2034 to 2024.