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.
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains