Local leaders cut the ribbon before streetcar service begins.

Local leaders cut the ribbon before streetcar service begins.                         

Valley Metro

Passenger service on Valley Metro Streetcar began in Tempe, Ariz., after a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring local leaders and elected officials. The three-mile streetcar route will take riders to major employment centers, entertainment and event destinations, and historic neighborhoods, as well as connect to the regional transit network.

“We are so pleased to help support the Tempe Streetcar, which will provide a fast, convenient, car-free option connecting downtown Tempe and Arizona State University,” said FTA Regional Administrator Ray Tellis, whose agency provided $75 million to support the project in addition to $17 million in federal funding under the American Rescue Plan. “With connections to Valley Metro’s light rail system, destinations like Phoenix, Mesa and Sky Harbor Airport are now just a train ride away.”

The hybrid streetcar vehicle travels to 14 stops in Tempe and connects to Valley Metro Rail in two locations. The route serves Tempe destinations such as Tempe Beach Park, Marina Heights, Gammage Auditorium, and ASU sports facilities, and will support growing travel demand in the central city and region.

Public art, created by five Arizona artists, is incorporated at all stops and reflects the culture, architecture, and natural beauty of the surrounding area.

“Streetcar adds another sustainable option for transit riders to move around the Valley and enhances 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.”

Construction on the project began in 2018. The streetcar was funded through a combination of federal grants, regional Proposition 400, and local city of Tempe transportation funds, including a unique partnership between several private sector entities along the streetcar route.