April 17, 2019
Susan Tierney Communications Manager 602.523.6004 602.292.4093 (cell)
Brenda Yanez City of Phoenix Public Transit Public Information Officer 602.261.8254
For immediate release April 17, 2019
First T2050 Project Complete at the New 50th Street/Washington Light Rail Station Celebration occurs on April 24; service begins April 25
Phoenix, AZ – The first new station built along the existing Valley Metro Rail line opens for service on Thursday, April 25 connecting people to employment and businesses.
What: 50th Street/Washington Station Opening Celebration
When: Wednesday, April 24, 9-11 a.m.
Where: Ideation Design Group east parking lot 4885 E. Washington St., Phoenix 85034 Event parking is available at Ability360, 5025 E. Washington St.
Who: Congressman Greg Stanton, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Phoenix Councilmember Laura Pastor, Ability360 President and CEO Phil Pangrazio, Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith, Members of the community
“Four years ago, Phoenix voters from all corners of the city made the choice to expand and enhance our community investment in a total transportation plan. Phoenix’s first light-rail project funded through Transportation 2050 will add a station near Ability 360, one of our state’s largest and most comprehensive disability resources centers, sending a message that Phoenix values inclusivity; that we want everyone to feel welcome riding on our rail,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.
What’s most unique about the station are the accessibility features that will support people with disabilities who are traveling to the nearby organizations that serve them.
“This is more than another station,” said Phil Pangrazio, President and CEO of Ability360, a local disability advocacy organization. “It has features that go well beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act law. Street sidewalks are wider. Its platform is wide enough for two wheelchairs to easily pass by each other, and the ramp to the station has a gentler slope and increased shade through art and landscaping.”
In addition to a Valley Metro Rail train making its ‘first stop,’ there will be a special designation at the station in remembrance of the late Congressman Ed Pastor. Pastor was a lifelong advocate for transit and most recently served as chair of the Phoenix Citizens Transportation Commission for Transportation 2050.
“Out of our partnership with Ability360 and the city of Phoenix, the 50th Street station became reality,” said Scott Smith, Valley Metro CEO. “The convenience of this station will be a lifechanging experience for many.”
About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of 26 miles of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2018, total ridership for the system was 67 million passengers. Six high capacity transit extensions are under construction that will create a 50-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. In October 2017, the Boards approved a “Respect the Ride” Code of Conduct, focusing on creating a safe and positive rider experience, while also discouraging disruptive, intrusive, unsafe or inappropriate behaviors in a public setting. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.
About Transportation 2050: In Aug. 2015, Phoenix voters approved Transportation 2050 (T2050), a 35-year citywide transportation plan. T2050 is overseen by the Citizens Transportation Commission and includes improved frequency on local bus service, new light rail service and stations and major street improvement projects. Funding for T2050 comes from a 7/10ths of a cent city sales tax that started Jan. 1, 2016. Over the life of the plan, the funds are estimated to generate about $16.7 billion, or more than half of the plan’s overall cost. There will be an additional $14.8 billion in federal and county funds, passenger fares and other sources. For more information, visit the city of Phoenix T2050 page or follow us on Twitter.