Valley light rail service will be reduced in coming weeks for construction

Dec 17, 2019, 3:30 PM
Valley Metro Construction light rail...
(Facebook Photo/Valley Metro Construction)
(Facebook Photo/Valley Metro Construction)

PHOENIX – Phoenix-area light rail riders will need extra patience in the coming weeks as a reduced schedule goes into effect across the system to accommodate Tempe Streetcar construction.

All trains will be scheduled to arrive at stations every 24 minutes throughout the service day from Saturday until Jan. 5.

That gap between trains is twice as long as the regular schedule for weekday peak hours.

Valley Metro has posted the temporary schedules online. There are four different schedules for each direction: one for Monday-Thursday and one each for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The service reduction will give crews time to install tracks for the Tempe Streetcar across existing light rail tracks at the Third Street/Mill Avenue and Third Street/Ash Avenue stations.

In order to complete the installation, only one track will be operational between the 50th Street/Washington and Veterans Way/College Avenue stations.

That means trains will have to alternate in each direction over the same stretch of track, making it necessary to spread out arrival times across the system.

Scheduled to begin operations in 2021, the hybrid battery-powered Tempe Streetcar will cover 3 miles along Rio Salado Parkway, Mill Avenue and Apache Boulevard with 14 stops and two connections to Valley Metro light rail.

The project’s price tag is about $200 million, with most of the funding coming from the Proposition 400 regional sales tax. The project received $75 million in federal grant funding.

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Valley light rail service will be reduced in coming weeks for construction