Press Releases

STV Selected to Plan and Design Streetcar Expansion in Metro Phoenix Area


Project will Improve Transit Accessibility in the Nation’s Largest-Growing County

PHOENIX, AZ – STV, a professional services firm that plans, designs and manages infrastructure projects across North America, today announced it has signed a contract with the Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (Valley Metro), in partnership with the cities of Tempe and Mesa, to serve as the lead planner and designer for the Rio East-Dobson Extension. The project will evaluate the expansion of Valley Metro Streetcar by approximately four miles, from downtown Tempe into Arizona’s third-largest city, Mesa. The streetcar is part of metro Phoenix’s larger transit system connecting the Valley Metro transit lines in Maricopa County, the largest-growing county in the nation.

While previous feasibility studies determined the general route along Rio Salado Parkway and Dobson Road, STV will conduct an alternative analysis to consider and evaluate the line’s configuration and how it can best connect various regional activity centers, employment centers and residential areas. The team will study the potential to integrate the project with planned transit-oriented developments throughout the cities while serving Tempe Marketplace and Sloan Park in Mesa. STV will also prepare conceptual designs for the streetcar and analyze the project’s potential for receiving federal grants in future phases.

“This project will serve as a model for connecting other fast-growing communities nationwide while showcasing how transit system expansions can provide more accessibility,” said Tyler Bonstead, P.E., project manager at STV. “We’re excited to plan for both urban development and transit improvements in this rapidly growing corridor, which is seldom done at the same time and is much tougher to accomplish piecemeal.”

The metro Phoenix area, which recently surpassed five million residents, is one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States. While it continues to experience increased traffic as it builds outward, there is currently no existing fixed-transit service along the Rio Salado portion of the corridor between Tempe and Mesa. Once complete, the expanded streetcar line will travel to the area near the Sycamore/Main Street light rail station in Mesa, serving as a hub to encourage multi-modal ridership for travel to downtown Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, including the campuses of Arizona State University and popular entertainment venues, with the potential for additional streetcar expansion in the future.

STV is a leading provider of multidisciplinary services to all types of railroad and transit systems — from commuter to Class I, heavy freight, light rail and maintenance facilities. The team has a long history of planning and designing major transit improvement projects across the country, including similar projects for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA). STV has also served the Greater Phoenix area in projects such as the award-winning Phoenix Bus Rapid Transit program and design support services for Valley Metro’s Operations and Maintenance Center.