PHOENIX – As of Monday, April 8, those traveling between Metro light rail and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport can catch a free, air-conditioned ride aboard PHX Sky Train.
The first phase of the $1.6 billion project connects with Terminal 4 and includes a stop at the East Economy parking lot. The driverless cars, leaving about every three minutes, will make the trip in about half the time of the current shuttle buses.
“The Sky Train is going to serve the airport really well to move passengers really efficiently from point to point,” Steve Grubbs, a Phoenix Aviation Department special projects administrator, said during a media tour Thursday.
The trains will reduce congestion from the 108 buses that currently transport passengers around the airport, he said, while the station connecting with light rail emphasizes convenience and incorporates sustainable features and public artwork.
US Airways and Southwest Airlines will offer free early bag checking at the light-rail and East Economy stations in a pilot program. Passengers will also be able to print boarding passes at kiosks from participating airlines.
Grubbs said the PHX Sky Train was designed to create flexibility for future expansions and modifications.
Julie Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the airport, said a bridge that crosses 100 feet over a taxiway, enough to clear the tallest jetliners, will enhance the experience.
“It should be a really great ride for passengers,” she said.
Officials plan to extend the train to Terminal 3, with a walkway to Terminal 2, by 2015.
The light-rail station’s public art features mosaic-like designs in the flooring and a vibrant blue ceiling structure outside, paid for by a required 1 percent allocation in the budget.
Rebecca Blume Rothman, public arts project manager for the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, said this was the first foray into public art for most of the seven artists whose work is displayed at the stations.
Their mission is to enhance infrastructure, not merely decorate it, she said.
“Something that our program strived for is to use public art as a means to create landmarks in the city fabric,” Rothman said.
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.