Portion of PHX Sky Train Opens Soon, Rest To Be Completed "In The Future"

Categories: Around Arizona
Phoenix Sky Train

Phoenix Sky Harbor tweeted yesterday that its new PHX Sky Train will open April 8th.

The Sky Train will ferry visitors from parking lots, the car rental area, the light rail stop on 44th Street and to the various terminals. So far, workers have completed 1.7 miles of track. But there are two more portions to be completed. The next .7 miles should be finished sometime in early 2015, and the last 2.5 miles will be finished sometime "in the future," according to Phoenix Sky Harbor. (Hopefully for Sky Harbor this happens before the entire Valley turns into an arid martian landscape due to global warming, see recent L.A. Times article.) 

The estimated project cost for the Sky Train was originally $1.2 billion but that increased to $1.58 billion because of what officials cited as the rising cost of materials and labor - that's around $336,000,000 per mile of track. 

The Sky Train was funded with airport revenues and the maximum $9 passenger fees it adds to tickets, according to Sky Harbor. 

There will be 18 driverless cars in groups of two or three that average a speed of 23 mph. The trains run on electricity, and will pass over a taxiway bridge that can fit a 747 underneath and its stops will be LEED certified.

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$1.58 billion for a system that will only be marginally better than the inter-terminal buses currently at the airport is completely ridiculous. Just think what better improvements to our infrastructure could have been done with $1.58 billion.


@Colonel_Butterscotch it would be interesting to know how much the busses, drivers and operating expenses were for the old system to know if there will EVER be a point where this thing paid for itself in costs saved.


@JohnQ.Public My guess is that it would literally be centuries. Although in fairness, I think it was obviously never intended to save money but rather to increase capacity and save time for airport passengers. But what is that increased capacity and time worth? I seriously doubt it's worth $1.58 billion dollars to our economy.

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