We have been hearing a lot of talk about the Tempe Streetcar project lately and have even had a chance to take a ride on one example of what we could see cruising the Mill Avenue District in 2016. If you would like to get an up-close and personal look at what a “modern streetcar” looks and feels like, you’re in luck! There will be a car on display at Sun Devil Station ( Veterans Way and College Ave, just East of Mill ) this Sunday from 8am – noon.
Tempe Streetcars would be the region’s first introduction to the modern streetcar and would run on a line 2.6 miles long between Rio Salado Parkway and Southern Avenue. If all goes as planned, construction will begin in 2013 with completion by 2016. The project will be built using a mix of regional Proposition 400 and federal dollars.
METRO is hosting the ameriTRAM modern streetcar vehicle in Tempe to show people what a streetcar is, and the value this mode will bring to the Mill Avenue corridor. Attendees will have the opportunity to enter the vehicles and talk with METRO staff about the Tempe Streetcar project. This is a free event and all are welcome to come and take a peak!
The short video below shows the car that will be at the Tempe Transportation Center this Sunday.
Manufactured by Kinkisharyo, the ameriTRAMTM offers hybrid technology where both overhead electricity and battery power are used to propel the vehicle. However, this is just one example of a modern streetcar vehicle. METRO will conduct a formal search for the Tempe Streetcar vehicle in 2012.
Sunday, September 18
8 a.m. – 12 p.m. – stop by anytime
Veterans Way/College light rail station
While questions remain, METRO has been releasing a lot of information about the future of the Tempe Streetcar line. Many people feel the funding will be available, while others have quietly voiced their concerns. Anyone interested in the project should come take a look at the train and ask questions of the people on hand.
Obviously, a lot of people are excited about this project as well as future extensions of the streetcar line. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the possibility of a “sports and entertainment district” that could be developed along Rio Salado. Yesterday, Garin Groff wrote more about the future of streetcar in the region. Hear a portion of that Hugh Hallman interview here:
Can They Pull It Off?
I shot this pic of Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and METRO’s Steve Banta as a streetcar drives away in the distance. These two guys are obviously excited about the possibilities of our future transportation system. It will be a fun ride, for sure…
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