Transportation in Arizona

Last updated
Transportation in Arizona
Overview
Transit type Rapid transit, commuter rail, buses, private automobile, taxicab, bicycle, pedestrian
Operation
Operator(s) Arizona Department of Transportation

The transportation system of Arizona comprises rail, air, bus, car and bicycle transport.

Contents

Transit systems

Rail

Amtrak operates the Southwest Chief , Sunset Limited , and Texas Eagle through Arizona. Two Amtrak routes serve Arizona communities: the Southwest Chief passes through Winslow, Flagstaff, and Kingman, while the Texas Eagle passes through Benson, Tucson, Maricopa and Yuma. Although the Texas Eagle passes much closer to Phoenix than the Southwest Chief does, Phoenix is linked to the Amtrak system via motorcoach from Flagstaff.

Amtrak Intercity rail operator in the United States

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities.

<i>Southwest Chief</i> Amtrak passenger rail service in the United States of America

The Southwest Chief is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on a 2,265-mile (3,645 km) route through the Midwestern and Southwestern United States. It runs between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California, passing through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Winslow, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Winslow is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, in the United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 9,655. It is located approximately 75 miles (121 km) SE of Flagstaff, 320 miles (510 km) W of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 329 miles (529 km) SE of Las Vegas.

A light rail system called Valley Metro Rail opened in December 2008, connecting Phoenix with the nearby cities of Tempe and Mesa, with plans for expansion in the future.

Valley Metro Rail light rail line in Arizona

Valley Metro Rail is a 26.3-mile (42 km) light rail line operating in the U.S. state of Arizona. Part of the Valley Metro public transit system, it serves the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Construction began in March 2005; operation started December 27, 2008. The line had a weekday ridership of 49,416 in 2016, making it the 14th busiest light rail system in the country.

Tempe, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Tempe, also known as Hayden's Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2017 population of 185,038. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University.

Mesa, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Mesa is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a suburb located about 20 miles (32 km) east of Phoenix in the East Valley section of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is bordered by Tempe on the west, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on the north, Chandler and Gilbert on the south along with Queen Creek, and Apache Junction on the east.

Bus

The Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas are served by public bus transit systems. Yuma and Flagstaff have public bus systems. Greyhound Lines serves Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Yuma, and several smaller communities statewide.

Greyhound Lines intercity bus company

Greyhound Lines, Inc., usually shortened to Greyhound, is an intercity bus common carrier serving over 3,800 destinations across North America. The company's first route began in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1914, and the company adopted the Greyhound name in 1929. Since October 2007, Greyhound has been a subsidiary of British transportation company FirstGroup, but continues to be based in Dallas, Texas, where it has been headquartered since 1987. Greyhound and its sister companies in FirstGroup America are the largest motorcoach operators in the United States and Canada.

Roads and freeways

Entering Arizona on I-10 from New Mexico Entering Arizona on I-10 Westbound.jpg
Entering Arizona on I-10 from New Mexico

Main interstate routes include I-17, and I-19 traveling south–north, I-8, I-10, and I-40 traveling west–east, and a short stretch of I-15 traveling southwest–northeast through the northwestern corner of the state.

Interstate 17 (I-17) is an Interstate Highway located entirely within the U.S. state of Arizona. I-17's southern terminus lies within Phoenix, at Interstate 10, and its northern terminus is in Flagstaff, at Interstate 40. The majority of I-17 is known as the Arizona Veterans Highway. In the Phoenix metropolitan area, it is mostly known as the Black Canyon Freeway, however the southern 4.16 miles (6.69 km) is part of the Maricopa Freeway. The portion of the highway south of Cordes Lakes was built along the alignment of SR 69, while the northern part was built along old SR 79's alignment. I-17 is one of the most scenic Interstate Highways as it gains more than a mile in altitude between Phoenix at 1,117 feet (340 m) and Flagstaff at 7,000 feet (2,100 m). The highway features several scenic view exits along its route that overlook the many mountains and valleys found in northern Arizona.

Interstate 19 (I-19) is a north–south Interstate Highway located entirely within the U.S. state of Arizona. I-19 travels from Nogales, roughly 300 feet (91 m) from the Mexican border, to Tucson, at I-10. The highway also travels through the cities of Rio Rico, Green Valley, and Sahuarita.

In the U.S. state of Arizona, Interstate 10 (I‑10), the major east–west Interstate Highway in the United States Sun Belt, runs east from California, enters Arizona near the town of Ehrenberg and continues through Phoenix and Tucson and exits at the border with New Mexico near San Simon. The highway also runs through the cities of Casa Grande, Eloy, and Marana. Segments of the highway are referred to as either the Papago Freeway, Inner Loop, or Maricopa Freeway within the Phoenix area, and the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway outside metro Phoenix.

Phoenix is served by a combination of interstates, U.S. Highways, and state routes, many of which were funded by a ½ cent general sales tax measure approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985. New freeways are being added to the area, such as Loop 101, Loop 202, and eventually SR 24 and SR 30. Currently, two major interstates serve the area, I-10 and I-17. In the past decade, more than 100 miles (160 km) of new freeway have been constructed in the Phoenix metropolitan area by ADOT.

Phoenix, Arizona State capital city in Arizona, United States

Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,078 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the most populous American state capital, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.

Interstate Highway System United States highway system

The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System in the United States. The system is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed its formation. Construction was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, and the original portion was completed 35 years later, although some urban routes were cancelled and never built. The network has since been extended. In 2016, it had a total length of 48,181 miles (77,540 km). As of 2016, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system. In 2006, the cost of construction was estimated at about $425 billion.

Maricopa County, Arizona County in the United States

Maricopa County is a county in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Arizona. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated its population was 4,307,033 as of 2017, making it the state's most populous county, and the fourth-most populous in the United States. It is more populous than 23 states. The county seat is Phoenix, the state capital and fifth-most populous city in the United States.

The Tucson metropolitan area is primarily served by I-10, I-19, and State Route 77. I-19 departs from I-10 in the southern part of Tucson, travels through southern Tucson (including an exit serving the historic Mission San Xavier) and the retirement community of Green Valley and terminates in Nogales, in Santa Cruz County, at the international border with Mexico. Destination signs on I-19 have metric distance figures in kilometers instead of standard miles. SR 77 serves North Tucson and Tucson's northern suburbs including Casas Adobes, Catalina Foothills, Oro Valley, and Catalina. SR 77 continues northward until it terminates at the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona.

State Route 77 is a state highway in Arizona that traverses much of the state's length, stretching from its northern terminus at the boundary of the Navajo Nation north of Holbrook to its junction with I-10 in Tucson.

Mission San Xavier del Bac mission

Mission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Tucson, Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation. The mission was founded in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Kino in the center of a centuries-old Indian settlement of the Sobaipuri O'odham who were a branch of the Akimel or River O'odham, located along the banks of the Santa Cruz River. The mission was named for Francis Xavier, a Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus in Europe. The original church was built to the north of the present Franciscan church. This northern church or churches served the mission until being razed during an Apache raid in 1770.

Green Valley, Arizona CDP in Arizona, United States

Green Valley is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pima County, Arizona, United States. The population was 23,765 at the 2010 census.

SR 210 (Barraza–Aviation Parkway) is a limited-access parkway built in the early 1990s to connect downtown Tucson to the southeastern portion of the city. Few new limited-access roads are in the plans in Tucson due to strong community opposition to freeways. However, a large-scale reconstruction and expansion of I-10 was supported and completed in mid-2009.

Route 66 between Oatman and Kingman. Rte66btwnOatmanAndKingman.JPG
Route 66 between Oatman and Kingman.

Yuma is served by I-8, while Casa Grande served by I-8 and I-10; Flagstaff is served by I-17 and I-40. US 95 parallels the Colorado River, from Las Vegas to the Mexico–United States border near Yuma.

Historic US 66, a major route for Midwestern emigrants prior to the advent of the interstate highway system, traversed the northern part of the state, passing through Flagstaff and Kingman. US 66 in Arizona closely followed the route of what is now I-40 except for an 88 mi (142 km) stretch between Seligman and Kingman now known as SR 66, where the route veered to the north passing through Peach Springs.

Bridges and tunnels

The Papago Freeway Tunnel, better known to Phoenix residents as the Deck Park Tunnel, is a vehicular tunnel built underneath Downtown Phoenix. It was built as part of I-10 in Phoenix. The tunnel extends from approximately North 3rd Avenue to North 3rd Street. At 2,887 feet (880 m), it ranks as the 42nd longest vehicular tunnel in the US. The tunnel was the last section of I-10 to be completed nationwide. There is a plaque dedicated to the commemoration of the tunnel in Margaret T. Hance Park.

Personal transportation

Pedestrians, and bicycles

Taxis

Personal vehicles

Port Infrastructure

Airports

Airports with scheduled commercial flights include: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX, ICAO: KPHX) in Phoenix (the largest airport and the major international airport in the state); Tucson International Airport (IATA: TUS, ICAO: KTUS) in Tucson; Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA, ICAO: KIWA) in Mesa; Yuma International Airport (IATA: YUM, ICAO: KYUM) in Yuma; Prescott Municipal Airport (PRC) in Prescott; Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (IATA: FLG, ICAO: KFLG) in Flagstaff, and Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCP), a small, but busy, single-runway facility providing tourist flights, mostly from Las Vegas. Phoenix Sky Harbor is the seventh busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements, and regularly in the top 15 for passengers.

Other significant airports without regularly scheduled commercial flights include Scottsdale Municipal Airport (IATA: SCF, ICAO: KSDL) in Scottsdale.

Projects

In May 2006, voters in Tucson approved a Regional Transportation Plan (a comprehensive bus transit/streetcar/roadway improvement program), and its funding via a new half-cent sales tax increment. The centerpiece of the plan is a light rail streetcar system (possibly similar to the Portland Streetcar in Oregon) that will travel through the downtown area, connecting the main University of Arizona campus with the Rio Nuevo master plan area on the western edge of downtown. [1]

Related Research Articles

Phoenix metropolitan area Metropolitan area in Arizona, United States

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Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach Intercity coach company

Thruway Motorcoach is Amtrak's system of Amtrak-owned intercity coaches, locally contracted transit buses, through-ticketed local bus routes, and taxi services to connect Amtrak train stations to areas not served by its railroads, or stations which are disconnected temporarily due to service delays or track maintenance issues. Train and Thruway Motorcoach tickets are purchased together from Amtrak for the length of a passenger's journey, and the connections are timed for convenient dedicated and guaranteed-reliable transfers between the two services. In addition to providing connecting service to unserved areas, some Thruway Motorcoaches operate as redundant service along well-established passenger rail corridors to add extra capacity.

Transportation in Salt Lake City consists of a wide network of roads, an extensive bus system, a light rail system, and a commuter rail line. Although Salt Lake City, Utah is a traditionally car-oriented city, the rapidly growing public transit system has a high number of riders for a city of its size, and public transit is widely supported by the populace.

Transportation in Seattle

Transportation in Seattle is largely focused on the automobile much like many other cities in western North America; however Seattle is just old enough that its layout reflects the age when railways and trolleys predominated. These older modes of transportation were made for a relatively well-defined downtown area and strong neighborhoods at the end of several former streetcar lines, now mostly bus lines.

Interstate 11 (I-11) is a north-south Interstate Highway tentatively planned to run from Nogales, Arizona, to Reno, Nevada, along the current routes of I-19, I-10, US 93 and US 95. Currently, the only open section of I-11 is a 22.845-mile-long (36.765 km) freeway running predominantly northwest-southeast in the U.S. state of Nevada that currently follows U.S. Route 93 (US 93) and U.S. Route 95 (US 95) between the Arizona state line and Henderson. The bulk of the route is still in the early discussion and planning stages. Except for the portion between Wickenburg, Arizona to Hoover Dam, which will run on an upgraded US 93, an exact route for I-11 has yet to be determined. A number of corridor alternatives have been identified for further study and refinement.

Oklahoma City is near the geographic center of the United States and is an integral point on the U.S. Interstate Network. The city is served by numerous roads and highways, toll roads, three major airports, a train station, a bus station, and a transit system.

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Roads and freeways in metropolitan Phoenix regional highway network

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Below is a list and summary of the former state highways.

Below is a list and summary of the unconstructed state highways in the U.S. state of Arizona. Some are currently proposed while the others have been since cancelled prior to being constructed.

The transportation system of Georgia is a cooperation of complex systems of infrastructure comprising over 1,200 miles (1,900 km) of interstates and more than 120 airports and airbases serving a regional population of 59,425 people.

Transportation in Kern County, California

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Arizona Sun Corridor Megaregion of the U.S. in Arizona, USA

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References

  1. "Tucson - Light Rail Streetcar Plan Wins - Light Rail Now!". www.lightrailnow.org. Retrieved 2018-03-31.