PHONENIX, AZ – Phoenix city officials celebrated the opening of the final phase of the PHX Sky Train, a 2.5-mile extension that connects the terminals to the Rental Car Center and adds two new stations, just in time for the holiday travel season and Super Bowl euphoria next year.
“The new PHX Sky Train extension is a perfect example of why I believe Phoenix is the city of the future. Phoenix is a hub of innovation, and we constantly use data-driven technology to make life easier for our residents, as well as our visitors. When fans arrive for the big game in February, they will instantly see why Phoenix is a top destination for business, for employment, for vacationers and for those who would like to build a life here,” said Mayor Kate Gallego.
The extension to the Rental Car Center has been long awaited by travelers, as it provides a more efficient and convenient travel experience between the terminals and the Rental Car Center. In fact, it will take less than 8 minutes to get from Terminal 4 to the Rental Car Center, and about 13 minutes to travel the five miles from the 44th Street station to the new station.
In addition to the new station, a new station has been added at 24th Street and Buckeye Road, which will provide a convenient option for commuters arriving from the West Valley and downtown Phoenix.
The City added that with the roadway improvements, drivers will have better access to and from nearby freeways. The station features public and commercial curbside loading and unloading points and will allow commuters to reach the terminals in a matter of minutes.
Also, the new 1,600-space economy 24th Street express pay parking garage will open just south of the station, also providing easy access to the terminals and another option for travelers accessing the airport from the west. The parking area will also feature several electric vehicle charging stations.
Both stations will feature terrazzo floors designed by artists Bill Dambrova and Frank Gonzales. Other benefits of the project include improved accessibility, especially for customers in wheelchairs. The project also helps reduce traffic on Sky Harbor Boulevard, easing transit to and from the terminals.
Other project improvements are included in the PHX Sky Train maintenance and support facilities. The size of the facility has doubled, and the project involved an additional 30,000 square feet for storage, an automatic car wash and storage tracks. In addition, 24 cars were added to the existing 18 vehicles.
With the opening of this last phase, the trains will run in a three-car format, as opposed to the two-car format they had until now. Each car has a capacity for 53 passengers. It is estimated that future ridership could reach 79,000 passengers per day, which would include both customers of the Rental Car Center and those who park at the 24th Street station or are picked up or dropped off there.
The project in particular features a number of sustainable features, such as diverting 76% of on-site construction waste from landfills; using 23% of building materials made from recycled materials; using high-efficiency air conditioners and chillers to help reduce energy consumption at the station by 30%; and using efficient plumbing fixtures to achieve a 43% reduction in the airport’s baseline water consumption.
The $745 million project was paid for by fees for use of the facilities by rental car customers and for use of the facilities by airline passengers.