Streetcar vehicles to begin testing across Tempe on Monday

Jun 26, 2021, 12:00 PM
Tempe Streetcar is set to begin testing Monday, June 28. (Twitter photo/@valleymetro)...
Tempe Streetcar is set to begin testing Monday, June 28. (Twitter photo/@valleymetro)
(Twitter photo/@valleymetro)

PHOENIX — Over the next weeks and months, Valley drivers can expect to see streetcar vehicles make their way across Tempe as testing begins.

On Monday, vehicles will be out on the alignment completing various systems along with signals and safety tests, Valley Metro officials said in a press release Friday.

“Our first priority is operating a safe and reliable system,” Adrian Ruiz, Valley Metro director of safety, security and quality assurance, said in the release.

“It’s not quite time to get on board, but we want the public to be aware that they will observe and travel near the streetcars more frequently in the coming weeks. As opposed to light rail, streetcars share lanes with vehicle traffic, so be cautious when driving on or near the route,” Ruiz said.

The new system will include testing through checking the vehicle clearance at stations, and integration with traffic signals and the overhead electrification system.

“We are excited for these final steps in the Tempe Streetcar project,” Robin Arredondo-Savage, Valley Metro Rail board member and Tempe councilmember, said in the release.

“As many residents, visitors and employees see, there is a lot of construction in downtown Tempe, and this is another important project to keep investing in the future infrastructure of our city,” Arrendondo-Savage added.

With a new mode of transportation set to take place in the Valley, officials are encouraging Tempe residents and visitors to Be Streetcar Smart.

Officials are advising drivers to leave a safe space between their car and the streetcar, while pedestrians should only cross streetcar tracks at designated crosswalks.

“Streetcars are quiet, so look and listen before crossing with the appropriate signals,” Valley Metro officials advised in the release.

Due to the track grooves being slightly wider than a bike or scooter tires, officials are advising bicyclists and scooter riders to avoid traveling between the streetcar’s rails.

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Streetcar vehicles to begin testing across Tempe on Monday