Phoenix light rail Phase II expansion inaugurated

Category: News
Published: 2024-01-31
Phoenix light rail Phase II expansion inaugurated

PHOENIX, AZ – The city of Phoenix celebrated the groundbreaking of the Northwest Light Rail Phase II expansion in a ceremony attended by more than 2,000 people, including federal, state and local leaders.

The project includes a number of “firsts” for Valley Metro and the community, including the first elevated station, a rail-only bridge over I-17 and a multimodal transit center named after regional transit champion, former Phoenix Mayor and Councilwoman Thelda Williams.

“I am proud to be back in Phoenix, less than three years after signing the grant that funded this important extension that will make a huge difference in the lives of people in this region,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez.

According to the City Council, the project received US$158 million from the national Capital Investment Grant program through the FTA. City of Phoenix T2050 funds provided US$213 million and Proposition 400 regional transportation funds provided the final US$30 million. Construction began in 2020, creating 3,000 direct jobs in the community and more than 6,000 indirect jobs nationwide. 

“This project represents years and years of hard work, at the city, county and federal level,” said U.S. Congressman Greg Stanton.

The new extension includes three stations and is expected to initially attract 1,400 new daily riders to the system. By crossing I-17, the project provides increased transit access to the West Valley, connecting current and future riders to opportunities in downtown Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. 

“This extension has been part of Phoenix’s public transportation vision for more than two decades,” said Phoenix Mayor and Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Council Chair Kate Gallego. “Today’s expansion is not only a celebration of our community’s vision and commitment to sustainable growth, but also the region’s Proposition 400 investment totaling nearly US$1.3 billion to establish and grow our light rail system. Light rail has changed the way our community travels, fostering freedom of mobility and economic opportunity throughout our county.”

Along the new extension, there are nine different artistic elements created by seven artists that reflect the character and history of the local community. Art has been incorporated into the new stations, parking garage and Thelda Williams Transit Center. The four-story parking garage features solar panels to support the facility’s infrastructure and the transit center is served by five bus routes and, in the future, potentially Bus Rapid Transit.