Tempe

Tempe Streetcar is the first modern streetcar line in the Valley. It will serve one of the highest transit ridership centers in the region and connect riders to neighborhoods, major business centers, and regional events and destinations.

Tempe Streetcar Passenger Service Begins in Spring 2022

Streetcar has been a vision in Tempe for more than a decade—adding to the mix of multi-modal transit options and serving a busy downtown core made up of residents, businesses and students. Valley Metro, in close partnership with the city of Tempe, built the final phase of construction through the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping our workers and environment safe and schedule intact. However, what we could not have anticipated is the COVID-19 impacts on our streetcar vehicle manufacturer, Brookville, who has experienced factory closures, supply chain interruptions and other COVID-related impacts delaying vehicle manufacturing and delivery. These delays and our priority to open up this system safely and reliably, with sufficient testing and inspection, have moved the opening date for passenger service from the end of this year to spring 2022.

So far, we have received three of our six streetcar vehicles. Testing continues on the three vehicles in the Valley as we await final production and delivery of the remaining three. As Brookville further refines their schedule, Valley Metro and the city of Tempe will work closely to secure a more firm opening date in 2022 as we very much look forward to celebrating this new mode and service with the Tempe community and our riders from across the region!

TSC Vehicle Testing and Pre Operations Tracker showing 40 percent complete Vehicle and System Testing, 0 percent complete Pre-Revenue Operations

Six month vehicle testing and pre-operations outlook

Vehicle Delivery: The first three streetcars have been delivered to the Valley Metro Operations and Maintenance Center. The next streetcar delivery is anticipated in early 2022.

System Testing: Vehicle testing continues in downtown Tempe along the streetcar alignment. Click here for more information on Streetcar testing and check out our Streetcar Safety page to see how to remain Streetcar Smart. 

Steetcar vehicle stationary at the Operations and Maintenance Center.
Tempe Streetcar route map and statistics. Route: 3 miles around Downtown Tempe/ASU/Rio Salado Pkwy/Blvd. 14 sheltered stops, including two light rail connections. Powered on hybrid battery and off-wire through downtown on Mill Ave. Opening: 2022.

Tempe is already one of the highest public transit ridership centers in the region and Tempe Streetcar will add another efficient transportation option. 

The project received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in October 2015, which indicates that the project will have no significant environmental effect on the neighboring communities. The FONSI comes following the project’s Environmental Assessment (EA), which evaluates the potential impacts to the neighboring environment, including noise and vibration, traffic and parking, and historical and archaeological resources.

Streetcar Reaches Significant Milestone

On November 28, 2018, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that Tempe Streetcar has been allocated the full $75 million through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG). The project was allocated $50 million from the FTA in 2017 and with the approval of the final $25 million installment, it allows the project to move toward a fully funded grant.

“Tempe Streetcar is essential to our growing city,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “Today’s announcement shows we have a strong project with federal, community and regional support.” 

The competitive CIG Program provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process for funding consideration. 

In August 2018, Valley Metro received approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to begin the initial phase of significant construction on the Tempe Streetcar. With this approval, Valley Metro began work in fall 2018 to build the system’s rail trackway, power systems and street improvements. 

“This milestone would not have been possible without the support of our federal delegation and officials at FTA, for which we are grateful. With this approval, we can now move forward to keep this project on budget and on schedule,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “Many, including advocates in the local business community, have been working tirelessly to see this project come to fruition for the betterment of our community’s quality of life and economic sustainability.”

“The Tempe community has a long history of supporting public transit and is already one of the highest public transit ridership centers in the region,” said Robin Arredondo Savage, Tempe City Councilmember and Vice Chair of the Valley Metro Rail Board. “Streetcar will be a critical link in our total transit network, connecting strong neighborhoods, major business centers and regional events and destinations – supporting growing travel demand and business interest in Tempe and throughout the region.”

“This positive step demonstrates FTA’s favorable view of this project,” said Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith. “We look forward to working with FTA to receive our final grant agreement in the next few months. This project is unique because it is being built with a combination of local, regional and federal funds, and with $13 million in voluntary contributions from local property owners along the streetcar route.”  

On September 24, 2019, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) signed the $75 million Capital Investment (New Starts/Small Starts) grant agreement, indicating its continuing investment in the valley's regional transit network.

Tempe Streetcar is on track to be operational in Spring 2022.

Downtown Tempe, Mill Avenue.
Downtown Tempe, Mill Avenue.

Shop local. 

Discover the great shops, restaurants and other businesses along the Tempe Streetcar line.  Find everything from coffee to carry-out, designer clothes to decadent dishes!  Check out the businesses on our interactive map.  Learn more at the Tempe Streetcar Business Directory.

Be Streetcar Smart logo

Check out the Streetcar Safety page to view tips for navigating the streetcar safety as a bicyclist, pedestrian, and motorist!

Federal Transit Administration provides additional funding for Tempe Streetcar

On June 11, 2021, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a $17.4 million funding allocation for Tempe Streetcar from the American Rescue Plan. This amount is in addition to $75 million in CIG funds the project received in September 2019. In a release about the funding, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “Public transit opens new opportunities for people, and delivers environmental and economic benefits to communities. We are delighted to provide support for these projects, which will help communities recover from the pandemic and bring public transit to more people in the months and years to come."

To learn more about the funding allocation, Download the FAQ (PDF).

Tempe Streetcar Passenger Service Begins in Spring 2022

Streetcar has been a vision in Tempe for more than a decade—adding to the mix of multi-modal transit options and serving a busy downtown core made up of residents, businesses and students. Valley Metro, in close partnership with the city of Tempe, built the final phase of construction through the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping our workers and environment safe and schedule intact. However, what we could not have anticipated is the COVID-19 impacts on our streetcar vehicle manufacturer, Brookville, who has experienced factory closures, supply chain interruptions and other COVID-related impacts delaying vehicle manufacturing and delivery. These delays and our priority to open up this system safely and reliably, with sufficient testing and inspection, have moved the opening date for passenger service from the end of this year to spring 2022.

So far, we have received three of our six streetcar vehicles. Testing continues on the three vehicles in the Valley as we await final production and delivery of the remaining three. As Brookville further refines their schedule, Valley Metro and the city of Tempe will work closely to secure a more firm opening date in 2022 as we very much look forward to celebrating this new mode and service with the Tempe community and our riders from across the region!

TSC Vehicle Testing and Pre Operations Tracker showing 40 percent complete Vehicle and System Testing, 0 percent complete Pre-Revenue Operations

Six month vehicle testing and pre-operations outlook

Vehicle Delivery: The first three streetcars have been delivered to the Valley Metro Operations and Maintenance Center. The next streetcar delivery is anticipated in early 2022.

System Testing: Vehicle testing continues in downtown Tempe along the streetcar alignment. Click here for more information on Streetcar testing and check out our Streetcar Safety page to see how to remain Streetcar Smart. 

Steetcar vehicle stationary at the Operations and Maintenance Center.
Tempe Streetcar route map and statistics. Route: 3 miles around Downtown Tempe/ASU/Rio Salado Pkwy/Blvd. 14 sheltered stops, including two light rail connections. Powered on hybrid battery and off-wire through downtown on Mill Ave. Opening: 2022.

Tempe is already one of the highest public transit ridership centers in the region and Tempe Streetcar will add another efficient transportation option. 

The project received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in October 2015, which indicates that the project will have no significant environmental effect on the neighboring communities. The FONSI comes following the project’s Environmental Assessment (EA), which evaluates the potential impacts to the neighboring environment, including noise and vibration, traffic and parking, and historical and archaeological resources.

Streetcar Reaches Significant Milestone

On November 28, 2018, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that Tempe Streetcar has been allocated the full $75 million through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Capital Investment Grants (CIG). The project was allocated $50 million from the FTA in 2017 and with the approval of the final $25 million installment, it allows the project to move toward a fully funded grant.

“Tempe Streetcar is essential to our growing city,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “Today’s announcement shows we have a strong project with federal, community and regional support.” 

The competitive CIG Program provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process for funding consideration. 

In August 2018, Valley Metro received approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to begin the initial phase of significant construction on the Tempe Streetcar. With this approval, Valley Metro began work in fall 2018 to build the system’s rail trackway, power systems and street improvements. 

“This milestone would not have been possible without the support of our federal delegation and officials at FTA, for which we are grateful. With this approval, we can now move forward to keep this project on budget and on schedule,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “Many, including advocates in the local business community, have been working tirelessly to see this project come to fruition for the betterment of our community’s quality of life and economic sustainability.”

“The Tempe community has a long history of supporting public transit and is already one of the highest public transit ridership centers in the region,” said Robin Arredondo Savage, Tempe City Councilmember and Vice Chair of the Valley Metro Rail Board. “Streetcar will be a critical link in our total transit network, connecting strong neighborhoods, major business centers and regional events and destinations – supporting growing travel demand and business interest in Tempe and throughout the region.”

“This positive step demonstrates FTA’s favorable view of this project,” said Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith. “We look forward to working with FTA to receive our final grant agreement in the next few months. This project is unique because it is being built with a combination of local, regional and federal funds, and with $13 million in voluntary contributions from local property owners along the streetcar route.”  

On September 24, 2019, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) signed the $75 million Capital Investment (New Starts/Small Starts) grant agreement, indicating its continuing investment in the valley's regional transit network.

Tempe Streetcar is on track to be operational in Spring 2022.

Downtown Tempe, Mill Avenue.
Downtown Tempe, Mill Avenue.

Shop local. 

Discover the great shops, restaurants and other businesses along the Tempe Streetcar line.  Find everything from coffee to carry-out, designer clothes to decadent dishes!  Check out the businesses on our interactive map.  Learn more at the Tempe Streetcar Business Directory.

Be Streetcar Smart logo

Check out the Streetcar Safety page to view tips for navigating the streetcar safety as a bicyclist, pedestrian, and motorist!

Federal Transit Administration provides additional funding for Tempe Streetcar

On June 11, 2021, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a $17.4 million funding allocation for Tempe Streetcar from the American Rescue Plan. This amount is in addition to $75 million in CIG funds the project received in September 2019. In a release about the funding, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “Public transit opens new opportunities for people, and delivers environmental and economic benefits to communities. We are delighted to provide support for these projects, which will help communities recover from the pandemic and bring public transit to more people in the months and years to come."

To learn more about the funding allocation, Download the FAQ (PDF).

Contacts

Jessica Parks

Community Outreach Coordinator

(602) 322-4436

Bree Boehlke

Community Advisory Board Coordinator

(602) 256-5822

Mary Ann Miller

Business Assistance Coordinator

(480) 468-3620