Tempe streetcar construction starts soon

Valley Metro presented three paint scheme options for the Tempe streetcar project and are seeking public input. This option features green “bookmarks” followed by a small purple stripe and silver in the middle. /Photo: Valley Metro

By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | The Republic

After years of planning, construction of Tempe’s $177 million streetcar project will begin in June.

The work will involve utility relocations to make way for the future track.

The streetcar project, slated for completion in fall 2020, will include three miles of track that loops around downtown Tempe, connecting riders to neighborhoods, business centers and regional destinations.

Tempe was an early adopter of the Valley’s light-rail system and has seen high ridership, according to Valley Metro. Streetcars differ from light rail as they are smaller, move slower and often share lanes with traffic.

Construction is moving forward despite President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, which would nix federal funding for streetcar and other transit projects.

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