Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport's automated train, the PHX Sky Train, made its first official journey.
The electrically-powered, automated train, manufactured by Bombardier, will transport travelers between the METRO light rail at 44th Street and Washington, East Economy Parking and Terminal 4 beginning in the first quarter of 2013. The PHX Sky Train will run 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and will be free of charge.
Over 6 million passengers are expected to ride the train the first year; or, 16,000 a day.
In future stages, the PHX Sky Train will serve Terminal 3 with a walkway to Terminal 2 by early 2015 and will continue to the Rental Car Center by 2020.
The first phase, which cost $644 million, was funded by airport revenues.
Travelers at the station won’t have long to wait either as trains will arrive and depart every three to four minutes. It will only be a two-minute ride between the East Economy Parking train station and Terminal 4.
The PHX Sky Train project also has several other unique features including being a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified project.
- Stage One is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5,913 tons/year.
- Will encourage alternative transportation by connecting Terminal 4 to METRO Light Rail.
- Will use drip irrigation and "smart" controllers, reducing landscape water needs at the stations by more than 50%.
- Stations will use 30% less power than an established baseline.
- More than 50% of all construction demolition waste will be recycled/salvaged.
- Uses at least 10% recycled content in building materials.
In fact, since construction began in 2008, the project has created and sustained nearly 6,000 jobs for Stage 1, and an additional 2,000 jobs for State 1A.
Passengers will see the trains testing throughout the year when they visit Phoenix Sky Harbor.