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Sky Train marks year of service, 3.5M riders

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PHOENIX -- Sky Harbor marked the one-year anniversary Monday of Sky Train, which connects the Valley Metro Light Rail station at 44th and Washington streets to the airport's Terminal 4.

Deputy Aviation Director Steve Grubbs said the automated train, which also makes a stop at the East Economy parking lot, averaged about 10,000 passengers daily, for total of approximately 3.5 million for the year.

Grubbs said that's 20-30 percent more than originally projected.

Monday also marked the beginning of testing of the next section that connects Terminal 3 with Terminal 4.

"That will be up and operating to the public in time for next year's Super Bowl in the Valley." Grubbs said. "And we anticipate an increase in ridership of up to 20 percent than the first stage."

Part of that project includes a walkway between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 that should also be open open in time for Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale.

There's no hard timetable for the ultimate completion of Sky Train to the rental-car center, but Grubbs believed it could be finished in the early 2020s.

Upon completion, passengers will no longer have to take buses to the airport terminals.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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