On Monday, March 22, Valley Metro celebrated the arrival of its first vehicle in the Tempe Streetcar fleet. The new streetcar is manufactured by Brookville Equipment Corporation and can transport up to 120 passengers.
“We are really excited about the streetcar coming into play in the city of Tempe, particularly to add to our regional infrastructure along with light rail and bus rapid transit.” said Tempe Mayor Corey Woods. “We are looking forward to doing everything we can to make sure our residents and visitors can get anywhere around the Valley without a car, if they choose to.”
As part of a multimodal transit system, the streetcar’s focus is on short trips that provide access to neighborhoods and commercial, retail and office spaces. Each streetcar vehicle operates individually, unlike light rail cars that are linked in a two- or three-car train.
“Bringing the first modern streetcar to the Valley will serve East Valley residents and visitors alike,” said Valley Metro Rail Board Chair and Mesa Councilmember Francisco Heredia. “It’s important to continue building for our future, to support current and future travel demand and business interest throughout the region.”
The streetcar is 72 feet long, 12 feet high and weighs 91,000 pounds. This vehicle is the first of six that will ultimately make up Valley Metro’s streetcar fleet. Unlike light rail, streetcar is a hybrid and can travel off-wire using reserve power stored in its lithium-ion battery.
In the next few months, streetcars will undergo vehicle and system testing. Tempe Streetcar is expected to open for operations later this year.