PHX Sky Train™ Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do we need the PHX Sky Train™?

Sky Harbor Boulevard and the surrounding roadway system accommodate all traffic at the Airport — it is the only way for passengers, employees, Airport businesses and the public to access the Airport terminals. The Airport will continue to improve this roadway system, but it has limited capacity and a second mode of transportation will be necessary in the near future. Conservative growth projections suggest that Sky Harbor's roadway system will reach capacity in six to eight years. The PHX Sky Train™ is the most effective and efficient way to meet passenger demand and maintain customer service levels. PHX Sky Train™ will be completed in early 2013.

Benefits:

  • Convenient, easy-to-use transportation
  • Diminished curbside congestion
  • Minimized wait times
  • Climate controlled vehicles
  • Connection to METRO Light Rail Train (LRT) system
  • Hassle-free travel
  • Wheelchair, rolling luggage and stroller-friendly
  • Accommodates future growth
  • Environmentally friendly mode of transit

Q: What will the PHX Sky Train™ look like?

The PHX Sky Train will be silver with black accents and a white roof and will feature the Trademark PHX logo on the sides (see photo above right).

Q: How long will it take to ride the PHX Sky Train™ between the 44th Street Station and the Terminal 4 Station?

Travel time between the 44th Street Station and the Terminal 4 Station on PHX Sky Train will be approximately 5 minutes.

Q: How frequently will the PHX Sky Trains arrive?

PHX Sky Trains will run continuously in both directions and arrive as frequently as every 3 minutes.

Q: How fast will the PHX Sky Train™ go?

The maximum speed that the PHX Sky Train™ can travel is 35 mph.

Q: How many passengers will the PHX Sky Trains hold?

The PHX Sky Trains are expected to hold up to 162 passengers per train. The trains will consist of two to three individual cars coupled together. Each individual car cabin can hold approximately 54 people with luggage.

Q: Can I get to the Airport by the Metro now?

Yes, you can get to the Airport by METRO. The Airport is providing a regularly scheduled shuttle bus service until the Airport PHX Sky Train™ is operating. Buses run at no charge from the METRO light rail station at 44th Street and Washington to all three of Sky Harbor's terminals. They stop at each terminal every ten minutes and have space for luggage like Sky Harbor’s Rental Car Center buses.

Q: Why isn’t light rail going into Sky Harbor?

Light rail is designed to carry large numbers of people across the Valley’s most heavily traveled routes, including to the edge of the Airport where there’s a quick connection to the terminals (first via shuttle buses, then the PHX Sky Train™). By coming inside Sky Harbor, light rail passengers would be inconvenienced by up to six more stops and 15 minutes added to their trip. And light rail operates on a different schedule than Sky Harbor’s system, that will arrive about every 3-5 minutes, 24-hours a day.

Q: Aren’t there more expedient ways to move people than the PHX Sky Train™?

Studies have shown that an automated train is the best way to move people through the Airport. Sky Harbor’s free PHX Sky Train™ will help relieve curbside traffic jams, reduce wait times, provide hassle-free travel in climate controlled vehicles and connect to the Valley’s light rail and bus lines. It will take more than 20,000 vehicles off the roads each day. The driverless PHX Sky Train™ will function like those at Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Las Vegas and San Francisco, with trains arriving every 3 to 5 minutes and with the trip from LRT to T-4 taking 4 to 5 minutes.

Q: Why a train? Aren’t the shuttle buses working?

This elevated, electric train is the most expedient and environmentally conscious way to move people through Sky Harbor. The shuttles are working fine for now. But as we grow, we’ll experience even more traffic congestion from shuttles as well as other vehicles. The result is that the buses will be challenged in trying to get through traffic and the curbs will become so congested that the roadways will become gridlocked.

Q: If the train’s so important, why don’t you build the whole route at once instead of in phases?

Everyone’s aware of economic cutbacks and Sky Harbor’s focus is on cost-conscious improvements to better serve our passengers. We are taking this smart approach to moderate cost increases in view of current economic conditions and the financial caution of the world’s airline industry.


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