PHX Sky Train Stage 2 Automated People Mover System
A two-mile extension of the trailblazing PHX Sky Train® will connect 14 million travelers a year to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s consolidated Rental Car Center and new Ground Transportation Center. The project will reduce traffic congestion and relieve wait times for shuttle bus service between terminals and the Rental Car Center, which can top 30 minutes during peak travel periods, when the center serves 34,000 people a day.
The existing 3.2-mile PHX Sky Train line connects the airport’s Valley Metro Rail Station to airport terminals. The Stage 2 extension, which opened in December 2022, connects the terminals to the Rental Car Center and Ground Transportation Center at 24th Street and is a powerful catalyst for long-term airport growth and adjacent private development. It also supports the airport’s sustainability goals, helping reduce the daily vehicle count by 20,000. The PHX Sky Train is expected to serve 58 million travelers in 2024, up from 44 million in 2017.
What We Did
Gannett Fleming was the fixed-facilities designer of record for PHX Sky Train Stage 2, providing guideway and support structure design from concept to completion. The project’s dual-lane guideway includes two depressed sections that pass through tunnels built 19 to 26 feet below ground to carry trains underneath two future aircraft taxiways. The undercrossing structures were designed to facilitate taxiway construction without affecting train operations. The Stage 2 guideway serves three new stations: the Rental Car Center Station, built into the upper level of the existing structure; the 24th Street Station, which will connect to nearby parking and ground transportation facilities and planned commercial development; and a station that will serve the airport’s future West Terminal. Design work at the third station includes splitting the guideway to accommodate a central platform and future terminal connections.
The project used a CM-at-Risk (CMAR) model to support fast-track delivery, enabling early identification and mitigation of constructability issues and allowing for overlapping design and construction processes. The project earned an Envision Gold Award for sustainability, which was the airport’s first Envision award and the third Envision-awarded project in the State of Arizona.
- Aircraft bridges will carry two future taxiways over the train system.
- Elevated 24th Street Station accommodates traveler and employee parking, ground transportation, and future development.
- Elevated Rental Car Center Station built directly into the existing Rental Car Center creates a seamless passenger connection with terminals.
- Three traction power substations power 24 additional transit vehicles.
- CMAR model allowed for overlapping design and construction to support fast-track delivery.
Awards & Recognition
- Excellence in Structural Engineering Award – New Buildings Over $10M, 2023, Structural Engineers Association of Arizona.
- Transportation Award, 2023, Arizona Chapter of the American Concrete Institute.
- PCI Design Award, 2022, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.
- Envision® Gold Award, 2020, Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), ISI Envision Awards.
- PHX Sky Train relieves traffic congestion and reduces the airport’s daily vehicle count by 20,000, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 6,000 tons annually.
- Elimination of airport shuttle bus fleet ends bus emissions and curbside idling, providing additional air quality improvements.
- Envision® Gold certification for the PHX Sky Train system recognizes sustainable design and construction.
- Rapid transit connection to all major airport facilities and regional transit.
- Elimination of 30-minute wait/travel times for shuttle bus service from terminals.
- Full transit capacity for the airport’s long-term growth and development.
City of Phoenix Aviation Department