Tempe’s 3-mile streetcar line opened to passengers on Friday, with free fare for the first year.
The streetcar route connects riders to 14 different stops in downtown Tempe, Arizona State University and surrounding neighborhoods, including destinations such as Marina Heights, Gammage Auditorium and Tempe Beach Park.
The streetcar will operate from 6 am to midnight Mondays through Saturdays and from 8 am to midnight Sundays.
The streetcar vehicles are smaller than light rail cars and each one holds up to 125 passengers.
The service runs every 20 minutes, although that frequency is expected to improve later this year when the final two streetcar vehicles are added to the service. In total, there will be six vehicles running.
Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, City Council members and other state and local leaders attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning to celebrate the Valley’s first streetcar.
“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,” Woods said. “We are building for our future, and the streetcar is a great example of that.”
Construction of $200M line
Construction of the $200 million streetcar line started in 2018, funds with a mix of federal grants, regional funding and a local public-private partnership among Tempe, ASU and other property owners.
Trial runs began last year: The long-awaited streetcar hits the road for testing in Tempe. Here’s when you can expect to hop on
The streetcar was originally expected to open last year, but it encountered delays when the COVID-19 pandemic led to factory closures and supply chain interruptions.
The vehicle is powered by an overhead electrification system and stores power in a battery to travel off-wire on Mill Avenue.
While the streetcar opened on a 3-mile route, there were already talks of potentially expanding the service to Mesa with a portion of the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package passed in 2021.
“Streetcar adds another sustainable option for transit riders to move around the Valley and our comprehensive, regional transit network,” said Valley Metro CEO Jessica Mefford-Miller. “It’s also the start of a streetcar system that we hope to extend into Mesa in the coming years.”
Where to hop on the streetcar
Similar to the light rail, public art created by Arizona artists was incorporated at all stops and reflects the culture, architecture and natural beauty of the Valley.
Unlike light rail, the streetcar shares road lanes with other vehicles and travels with mixed traffic.
The 14 stops where riders can catch the streetcar are:
Dorsey Lane and Apache Boulevard.
Rural Road and Apache Boulevard.
Paseo Del Saber and Apache Boulevard.
College Avenue and Apache Boulevard.
11th Street and Mill Avenue.
Ninth Street and Mill Avenue.
Sixth Street and Mill Avenue.
Third Street and Mill Avenue.
University Drive and Ash Avenue.
Fifth Street and Ash Avenue.
Third Street and Ash Avenue.
Tempe Beach Park and Rio Salado Parkway.
Hayden Ferry and Rio Salado Parkway.
Marina Heights and Rio Salado Parkway.
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