STV announced it has signed a contract with the Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (Valley Metro), in partnership with the cities of Tempe and Mesa, to serve as the lead planner and designer for the Rio East-Dobson Extension.
The project will evaluate the expansion of Valley Metro Streetcar by approximately four miles, from downtown Tempe into Arizona's third-largest city, Mesa.
The streetcar is part of metro Phoenix’s larger transit system connecting the Valley Metro transit lines in Maricopa County.
How STV Will Approach the Design
While previous feasibility studies determined the general route along Rio Salado Parkway and Dobson Road, STV will conduct an alternative analysis to consider and evaluate the line’s configuration and how it can best connect various regional activity centers, employment centers, and residential areas.
The team will study the potential to integrate the project with planned transit-oriented developments throughout the cities while serving Tempe Marketplace and Sloan Park in Mesa.
STV will also prepare conceptual designs for the streetcar and analyze the project’s potential for receiving federal grants in future phases.
“This project will serve as a model for connecting other fast-growing communities nationwide while showcasing how transit system expansions can provide more accessibility,” said Tyler Bonstead, P.E., project manager at STV. “We’re excited to plan for both urban development and transit improvements in this rapidly growing corridor, which is seldom done at the same time and is much tougher to accomplish piecemeal.”
The metro Phoenix area currently has no existing fixed-transit service along the Rio Salado portion of the corridor between Tempe and Mesa.
Once complete, the expanded streetcar line will travel to the area near the Sycamore/Main Street light rail station in Mesa, serving as a hub to encourage multi-modal ridership for travel to downtown Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa, including the campuses of Arizona State University and entertainment venues, with the potential for additional streetcar expansion in the future.