On Monday, May 14, the PHX Sky Train achieved another major milestone as Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton sent Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s new automated train on its first official journey. The PHX Sky Train traveled on the track between the East Economy Parking train station and its maintenance facility.
“Today represents a major milestone with the PHX Sky Train,” said Stanton. “Each day brings us closer and closer to completing this vital project. The future success of Sky Harbor is the future success of our City.”
The electrically-powered, automated PHX Sky Train will transport travelers between the regional light rail system, Sky Harbor’s largest parking area and Terminal 4, which serves 80 percent of the Phoenix Airport’s passengers. It will serve passengers beginning in the first quarter of 2013. The PHX Sky Train will run 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and will be free of charge. In future stages, the PHX Sky Train will serve all of Phoenix Sky Harbor’s terminals by early 2015 and will continue to the Rental Car Center by 2020.
“Today’s test run is a visible sign that the PHX Sky Train project is on track and will soon deliver a whole new level of service to our customers,” said Aviation Director Danny Murphy.
The train brings with it many new amenities, including baggage check-in services, boarding pass kiosks and pet parks at the stations. Trains will arrive and depart every three to four minutes, and it will only be a two minute ride between the East Economy Parking train station and Terminal 4.
Among the benefits of the new PHX Sky Train; the significant reduction of curb congestion near the terminals, and further reduction of the pollution created by the large number of idling vehicles there. The Sky Train is expected to reduce the number of vehicles in its first stage by approximately 5,000 fewer vehicles per day on the roadways, and by completion, there will potentially be 20,000 fewer vehicles per day at the Airport. Over 6 million passengers are expected to ride the train during the first year of operation, with approximately 16,000 passengers per day.
The $1.5B PHX Sky Train was paid for with airport revenue and passenger fees – no local tax dollars were used to fund the project. The cost of the new Sky Train was estimated at $644M for Stage 1 and construction jobs created for stage 1a and 1b is estimated at nearly 8,000 people.