Tempe streetcar design on track for line’s completion by 2020


Tempe’s multimillion-dollar downtown/ASU/Apache Boulevard streetcar is now officially planning to board its inaugural passengers in 2020.

Valley Metro Rail’s Board of Directors approved a contract with Stantec Consulting Services Inc. late last month for the system’s design services.

“Stantec brings tremendous experience and talent to our project, designing streetcar projects across the country,” said Tempe Mayor and Valley Metro Rail Board Chair Mark Mitchell. “Stantec also understands our region, having worked on the design of Valley Metro Rail. I’m confident they will ensure that the Tempe Streetcar serves the community’s needs, and we will work together with them to get input from our community throughout the design process.”

The 3-mile streetcar design is expected to be complete in 2017, with construction beginning later in the year. Opening is anticipated in 2020.

“As lead designer, we look forward to working alongside Valley Metro, the city of Tempe, project artists and construction contractor,” said Stantec project manager Tom Wolf. “Together, we’ll find the best way to efficiently design and construct the first modern streetcar in the region, a vital extension of the Valley’s transit system.”

Stantec was involved in the design of the first 20 miles of Valley Metro Rail that opened in 2008, as well as design of the extensions in downtown Mesa and northwest Phoenix.

The Board also approved artist contracts for public art elements that will be incorporated into each of the 14 streetcar stops.

The art program is delineated by zones to capture the essence of each neighborhood: 

Zone 1 – Rio Salado: Koryn Rolstad

Zone 2 – Downtown Tempe: Simon Donovan and Ben Olmstead

Zone 3 – Gammage Curve: Mary Lucking

Zone 4 – Apache: Bobby Zokaites

Tempe Streetcar will travel on Rio Salado Parkway from the Marina Heights development west to Mill Avenue.

It will make a downtown loop on Mill and Ash avenues and continue south to Apache Boulevard. It will then turn east to Dorsey Lane, connecting with the Apache/Dorsey light rail station.

The $177 million project has been programmed using a mix of federal, regional and local funds. Information: valleymetro.org/tempestreetcar.


  1. $177,000,000 to build a 2.6 mile streetcar line. That does not include any yearly costs to run it or to maintain it. This has to be one of the largest wastes of taxpayer money ever done in this state. Just think what could be done with that 177 million dollars…disgusting!

  2. I don’t understand why this would be running up Apache to the LRT. Shouldn’t this run along Rio Salado up to the Tempe Market Place and maybe even up to the Cubs spring training stadium. More poor planning brought to you by your elected officials and bureaucrats.

  3. Good thing it’s starting at a super luxury development that’s getting a huge tax break. Sends the right message. What a boondoggle. Tempe is too scared of losing fed funds to stand up for immigrants and Muslims. Pathetic.


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