After four years of construction and $644 million dollars, the first phase of the Phoenix Sky Train opened to the public on Monday, April 8th, 2013. This is the first phase of this mass-transportation system that will modernize Sky Harbor Airport.
The first section of the Sky Train ferries passengers along a 1.7-mile track from the East Economy Parking area to Terminal 4. Future sections will connect to Terminal 3 and to the Rental Car Center when the project is complete in the year 2020.
The Sky Train is a dedicated people mover which is separate and different from Valley Metro Light Rail. It will run 24 hours a day with trains running approximately every 3 minutes. There is no fee to ride the train.
The Sky Train is unique in that it is the only system in the country to cross over an active runway instead of tunneling beneath it. At its highest point the train tracks soar 100 feet in the air, allowing aircraft as large as a Boeing 747 to pass safely underneath.
This new system will allow travelers to go directly from the East Economy Parking area to Terminal 4 without depending on the current system of shuttle buses. This will ease traffic congestion at the curb level and eliminate the guesswork of getting on the correct shuttle bus.
The next phase of the Sky Train will connect the train to Terminal 3, with a short walkway to Terminal 2. This phase is scheduled to open in 2015. Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport's long-range plan calls for the closure of Terminal 2, so it will not be getting a Sky Train station.
Have you taken a ride on the Sky Train yet? Are you planning to in the future? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.