The Valley Metro Rail system locally referred to as the light rail or called the "Metro," provides more than 25 miles of public transportation for central and downtown Phoenix, the downtown and Arizona State University areas of Tempe, and downtown Mesa in Arizona. It has been in operation since 2008 and has an average daily ridership of 50,000 people per day.
Learn more about the Valley Metro Rail regarding everything from park-and-ride lots and station rules, to tips for drivers and pedestrians and buying tickets and passes.
The Valley Metro Rail route goes along one line with 35 stations (more are planned for future). It takes about 80 minutes to go from one end to the other. The train operates every day, although the train shuts down for the early morning hours for a small block of time. The train can travel up to a maximum speed of 58 miles per hour. Each car can seat 66 passengers with standing room for 200. Usually, three cars travel on one train at a time.
An interactive map of the stations of the light rail system for Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa also includes many attractions and points of interest that are within close proximity to the stations.
Review a map marking the Valley Metro Rail stations in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa and hotels and motels within a 1/2 mile of the light rail. This map can help you plan your trip to the area easier. You might not even need a rental car if you plan accordingly.
There are different fares depending on the type of pass you buy. You can buy one trip, you can buy a one day pass, a 15-day pass, or a monthly. Each pass is priced differently. Children under 6 are free. Passes (other than one-trip) are transferable between the bus and the light rail. There are reduced fares available for students, seniors, and people with disabilities.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has a free people mover to connect you to the Valley Metro Rail system. You can get the PHX Sky Train from the 44th St/Washington light rail station to all terminals and East Economy parking lot at the airport.
Residents voted for an increase in local sales taxes to go for the construction of regional transportation system in 2000. Construction on the light rail officially began in 2005. The light rail went into operation three years later. Plans to expand are in the works.
The concept of a surface rail system is not new. The Phoenix Street Railway provided streetcar service from 1887 to 1948. When it first started in 1887, the transportation system used horse-drawn carts. By 1893, the system was electrified. In 1947, a catastrophic fire destroyed most of the streetcar fleet. The city decided to modernize its transportation system by doing away with the streetcars and using buses—until 60 years later when the light rail was established.
Light rail trains travel on the road with car traffic. Some common collisions between light rail trains and others on the road occur when cars run red lights or when pedestrians cross illegally.