USD 75 million funding from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration are providing to Valley Metro for the tramway project in Tempe, Arizona. The total project cost is USD 192.4 million, including a request of USD 75 million in federal transit infrastructure grants.
The project envisages the construction of a 5-km tramway section with 14 stops, served by 6 trams. The new section will connect downtown Tempe, Arizona State University, and the emerging employment corridor of Rio Salado Parkway, which connects existing light rail serving Phoenix, Mesa, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
The line will serve one of the highest transit ridership centers in the region and connect riders to neighborhoods, major business centers, and regional events and destinations.
Last year, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced it will consider the USD 75 million grant. The project was allocated USD 50 million from the FTA in 2017 and with the approval of the final USD 25 million installment, it allows the project to move toward a fully funded grant.
In August 2018, Valley Metro received approval from the FTA to begin the initial phase of Tempe tram construction. With this approval, Valley Metro began work in fall 2018 to build the system’s rail trackway, power systems and street improvements.
In august 2019, Valley Metro announced that the crews have completed track installation on Mill Avenue, between University Drive and Rio Salado Parkway, being installed nearly half of the track.
Tempe tram is expected to be opened in 2021, providing two connections to Valley Metro Rail
Valley Metro is responsible for the operation of the regional bus system and for the development and operation of 45 km of light rail. By 2030, six high capacity transit extensions will offer transport services on an 80.4-km network.