Central Mesa light rail extension set to open seven months early
Beginning August 22, Valley Metro Rail will be traveling to new destinations along Main Street into downtown Mesa. With service beginning seven months earlier than scheduled, the Central Mesa extension will soon take riders beyond Sycamore to Mesa Drive.
“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.
“This has been a great project,” said Mesa Vice Mayor and Valley Metro Rail Board Chair Dennis Kavanaugh. “The city, Valley Metro and our contractor have worked so well together to make this happen really seamlessly. It’s a hallmark of rail construction here in the Valley.”
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 (FTA) 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. Trains will be moving on Main Street from Sycamore to Mesa Drive. System testing will ensure the safe start-up of service.
About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix, Mesa, and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2014, total ridership for the system was 72 million passengers. The first 20 miles of light rail opened December 2008.
Eight light rail extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance.
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