Tomorrow marks another important moment for the Valley’s public transit system as the Tempe Streetcar is set to open its doors to the public.

But the game-changing project for Tempe would not be ready to open if it weren’t for a grant Valley Metro received as a result of a congressional relief bill that kept construction going during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The $17 million grant made possible by the American Rescue Plan was instrumental in helping finish construction and testing.

Rep. Greg Stanton, who has pushed for Tempe Streetcar investment as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said it’s another example of how federal rescue packages continue to support projects that strengthen Arizona’s local economies.

“Great transit systems can help create good jobs and Tempe’s Streetcar will help lift small businesses, support ASU students and create an even more transit-friendly community,” Stanton said. “I’m proud of the work we did to make sure the Streetcar’s construction continued during the pandemic so this economic driver could begin to make Tempe’s economy even stronger.”

In February, Stanton joined then-Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith and Tempe Mayor Corey Woods for a tour of Tempe Streetcar during its final phases of testing.

Riders can ride Tempe Streetcar starting Friday, May 20 at approximately 10 a.m. and can catch a ride at any of the 14 stops on the three-mile track every 15-20 minutes. Rides are free for the first year of operation.