Local elected officials pose in front of the Center/Main St station with members from the Mayor’s Youth Committee revealing the opening date.

Local elected officials pose in front of the Center/Main St station with members from the Mayor’s Youth Committee revealing the opening date.

Phoenix, Ariz.-based Valley Metro Rail will be traveling to new destinations along Main Street into downtown Mesa, beginning August 22 — a full seven months earlier than scheduled.

“This is a very exciting day for Mesa,” said Mayor John Giles. “I’m proud of the professional staff that was involved in this. The city and Valley Metro did a great job on this project, which is being delivered ahead of schedule and on budget.”

Cheers broke out when Mayor John Giles and Mesa Councilmembers asked the light rail train at Center/Main Street to “move” and reveal the opening date.

It’s anticipated that the three-mile extension, which began construction in June 2012, will add 5,000 daily riders. It is funded by a combination of regional and federal dollars, having received a $75 million Federal Transit Administration grant in fall 2012.

“We are pleased to bring light rail to the Mesa community seven months in advance,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO. “It is a true testament of our team’s skillful coordination and expertise that we continue our positive track record of delivering projects on time to the local community.”

Train testing continues on the extension, which will ensure the safe start-up of service, according to Valley Metro.

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