Opening date set for Valley Metro light rail extension to Metrocenter area in Phoenix

Dec 21, 2023, 11:30 AM

PHOENIX — The second phase of Valley Metro’s northwest Phoenix light rail extension project is set to debut in late January, two years ahead of its original projected opening date.

The 1.6-mile extension will add service west on Dunlap Avenue from 19th Avenue, north on 25th Avenue, then west on Mountain View Road crossing over Interstate 17 to the Metrocenter area.

Service, initially expected to start in 2026, will begin Jan. 27.

“As Phoenix continues growing, so does the need for reliable, affordable transportation options that can connect Phoenicians to opportunities all over town,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a press release Thursday.

“Whether it’s going to work, to the doctor’s office or to visit loved ones, I believe every person should be able to get where they need to go without relying on a car.”

What are the details of Valley Metro’s northwest Phoenix light rail extension?

The project adds light rail stations at 25th and Dunlap avenues, Mountain View Road and 25th Avenue, and at the former site of Metrocenter Mall, which is being redeveloped.

The Metrocenter stop, west of I-17 between Peoria and Dunlap avenues, will be Valley Metro’s first elevated rail station, where trains will travel over the freeway on a rail-only bridge.

A transit center at the Metrocenter location will feature a four-story park-and-ride garage and public art.

The center was named after Thelda Williams, the late Phoenix councilwoman and mayor who served as chair of Valley Metro’s rail system.

Additionally, 200 new trees were planted along the route.

“The opening of the Northwest Extension Phase II is a remarkable milestone in Valley Metro Rail’s vision to provide multi-modal connectivity across our region,” Phoenix Councilwoman and Valley Metro Rail Board Chair Laura Pastor said in the release.

“Extensions like this demonstrate our ongoing commitment to deliver high-quality public transit that our region both needs and deserves.”

What’s the history of the northwest Phoenix light rail extension?

Construction on the second phase of the Northwest Extension began in 2020, four years after Phase I’s 3.2-mile addition was completed.

Phase I extended light rail service north on 19th Avenue to Dunlap Avenue.

Construction on Phase I and Phase II two progressed at similar timelines of four years.

Funding for the project comes from Phoenix Transportation 2050, Proposition 400 and federal grants.

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Opening date set for Valley Metro light rail extension to Metrocenter area in Phoenix