ARIZONA NEWS

Tempe streetcar service launches with free rides to be provided for first year

May 20, 2022, 5:00 PM
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)...
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)

PHOENIX — After four years of construction, Tempe and Valley Metro launched its streetcar service in the East Valley city on Friday.

The three-mile route will shuttle riders across 14 stops and will come every 20 minutes, with the frequency of service expected to increase later this year with the addition of two streetcars.

Tempe Beach Park, Gammage Auditorium and Arizona State University sports stadiums are among the attractions along the route.

Rides will be free for the first year of service.

“With Tempe having the highest transit ridership per capita in the state, as well as the highest density, a multi-modal transportation network is essential,” Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said.

“We are building for our future and the streetcar is a great example of that.”

Construction on the project began in 2018 and was funded through federal grants, Proposition 400 and Tempe transportation funds.

The streetcar, which connects to the light rail in two locations, shares the road with other vehicles and traffic.

It is powered by an overhead electrification system similar to the light rail.

“Streetcar adds another sustainable option for transit riders to move around the Valley and enhances our comprehensive, regional transit network,” Valley Metro CEO Jessica Mefford-Miller said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Balin Overstolz-McNair contributed to this report.

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Tempe streetcar service launches with free rides to be provided for first year