Three ways technology will make Phoenix travel different in 2023

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Several new technology-driven transportation projects will change the way people move in, out, and within Phoenix after 2023.

Waymo has announced that its self-driving cars will depart from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in mid-December. Less than a week later, Phoenix officials celebrated the grand opening of the final phase of the airport’s automated Skytrain. In addition to these developments, Valley Metro plans to begin allowing mobile tariff purchases in early 2023.

City leaders say the new transportation options will make it easier to get through Phoenix and reduce traffic on busy streets. This could come in handy ahead of Super Bowl LVII in Glendale in February.

“The new extension of the PHX Skytrain is a perfect example of why I believe Phoenix is ​​the city of the future,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego in a written statement. and we are constantly using data-driven technology to make life easier for our residents and visitors.When fans arrive to watch the big game in February, Phoenix is ​​ready for business, work, vacation, And you’ll soon see why it’s a premier destination for those who want to build a life here.”

Less traffic, more entertainment: What You Need to Know About Scottsdale’s Biggest 2023 Project

Completion of automatic sky train

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport kicked off the final phase of its automated Sky Train on December 20th. This section of the train line was approved by the Phoenix City Council in October 2016, according to Sky Harbor records.

The Skytrain now extends five miles (5 miles) from the easternmost station at 44th Street and Washington Street, where it connects to the Valley Metro light rail and extends to the car rental center west of the airport. increase. The new Sky Train link to the rental car center will move passengers faster and more efficiently than the old shuttle bus system.

The route extension also includes a new 24th Street station accessible from Buckeye Road and Copperhead Drive. The station will add approximately 1,600 economy parking spaces and approximately 22 electric vehicle charging stations to the Sky Harbor complex. It will also offer curbside new pickup and drop-off points for private and commercial vehicles, potentially helping to reduce congestion around Sky Harbor’s terminals.

The Sky Train is free and runs 24 hours a day, every 3-5 minutes. The extension was funded by facility fees for car rental customers and facility fees for air passengers, according to the airport’s website.

“Now that the PHX Skytrain line is complete, people will be able to access the terminal 24/7 while avoiding road traffic. .”

Other Valley changes:Southwest Valley Developments to Watch in 2023

Fully self-driving Waymo car to the airport

Travelers to and from Phoenix Airport can now ride in fully self-driving Waymo vehicles.

The Google-owned company has been gradually expanding its driverless car service in the Valley over the past few years. For now, airport rides are available only to Phoenix passengers and hop on and off at the Sky Train stations at 44th Street and Washington Street.

Speaking at the Sky Train Expansion’s grand opening event on December 19, Gallego said: age. “

Other notable projects:Outdoor retailer, new park among notable projects in next year’s surprise

Buy light rail fares on your mobile phone

Riders of Valley Metro’s light rail system will soon be able to purchase fares via a smartphone app.

Beginning in early 2023, passengers will be able to purchase single-ride and day light rail passes on their mobile phones using the ‘Valley Metro’ app on the App Store and Google Play. Tempe Tram. Passengers can now purchase passes online, at vending machines and in stores such as Circle K and Walgreens.

Valley Metro says on its Fare Technology Modernization website: “Passengers will have more flexibility and convenience in how and when they purchase fares.”

Looking further ahead, expansion of the light rail system is set to begin in 2024 to better serve parts of the Northwest and South of Phoenix.

“Northwest Extension Phase II” will connect the current terminus of the light rail at 19th Street and Dunlap Avenue to the former Metro Center Mall location being redeveloped. The South Central Extension will transport riders 5.5 miles north-south along Central Avenue from Washington Street to Baseline Road.

The South Central Extension will be connected to the future Capitol Extension. The Capitol Extension is his planned 1.4-mile path that extends from downtown to his 19th Street and circles the State Capitol at Washington and Jefferson streets. Not under construction yet.

Republic reporter Michael Salerno contributed to this report. Please contact reporter Taylor Seely at [email protected].

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