Valley Metro plans light rail extension for northwest Phoenix
Arizona – The second phase of Valley Metro’s light rail Northwest Extension earned Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approval to enter the New Starts Engineering phase of the Capital Investment Grants CIG) Program.
Metrocenter Station rendering
Valley Metro plans to extend the rail line west by 1.6 miles from the existing end-of-line station in northwest Phoenix to the Metrocenter Mall to provide access to the region’s light rail system in north and west Phoenix as well as Glendale and Peoria. It also will support transit-oriented land-use planning in the corridor, such as the planned redevelopment of the Metrocenter Mall site.
At the end-of-line, the Metrocenter Station will be the first elevated station in Valley Metro’s light rail system. The existing Transit Center will relocate to below the elevated station. Adjacent to the transit center will be a four-story park-and-ride garage that will be accessible to the station.
The project will link Metrocenter to existing regional activity centers and major activity nodes such as the North Central Avenue office corridor, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona State University, and downtown Phoenix.
Since November 2018, design refinements and additional project contingency resulted in the estimated project cost increasing from $340.8 million to $401.33 million. The project includes the purchase of three light rail vehicles, the relocation of the existing Metrocenter transit center, and the construction of a park and ride lot with a total of 260 parking spaces.
Approval allows the project to move into the design and engineering phase. Project construction is anticipated to begin in August, and the extension is expected to open in 2024.