Photos: First ride for PHX Sky Train at Sky Harbor Airport


by Mike Gertzman

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 15 at 3:41 PM

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PHOENIX -- The new PHX Sky Train at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport had its first official journey on Monday.

It took a test run on the track between the new train station at the East Economy Parking lot and the train's maintenance facility.

The electrically-powered, automated PHX Sky Train will move travelers between the METRO light rail station at 44th & Washington Streets and the East Economy Parking lot as well as Terminal 4.

That service is expected to begin 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.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said the $1.5 billion project was fully funded by the fees paid at Sky Harbor Airport.

The inside of the PHX Sky Train cars looks a lot like the METRO light rail cars.

It's expected to carry six-million passengers a year, saving the city almost $10 million a year in reduced buses and fuel costs, according to Stanton.

"This sky train will be a short two minute ride. Just a two minute ride from the station to Terminal 4," said Stanton.

Stanton said Stage 1 one of the project created 6,000 jobs. The second stage is expected to add 2,000 jobs.

According to officials with the City of Phoenix, In future stages, the PHX Sky Train will serve Terminal 3 with a walkway to Terminal 2 by early 2015 and will continue to the Rental Car Center by 2020.

"The future success of Sky Harbor is the future success of our city. They go hand in hand," said Stanton.