The Valley Metro light rail connects Culdesac Tempe to the best restaurants in Phoenix, the best farmers markets in Mesa, and to all sorts of fantastic places across the Phoenix metropolitan area. With free, unlimited rides and the station just steps from your door, accessing work, vibrant nightlife, and recreational areas are right at your fingertips!
What is the light rail?
The Valley Metro Light Rail is the Phoenix metro area’s most popular form of public transportation connecting 3 major downtown areas (Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix), the airport, and Culdesac Tempe.
How do I find light rail stations?
The first step to using the light rail is finding the station closest to you and your destination. Culdesac Tempe is on the Apache/Smith-Martin light rail stop, which means the nearest station is less than a one-minute walk from your door.
To find stops when you’re out and about, use the Google Maps public transportation filter or the Valley Metro app to locate the nearest light rail station. The trip planner tools on Google Maps and the app also give directions and time estimates for the walk to and from the station.
Westbound trains always head towards 19th/Dunlap in North Phoenix and Eastbound trains head to Gilbert Rd/Main St in Mesa (these are the final stops in each direction). If you find yourself heading in the wrong direction, hop-off at the next stop and wait for the train going the other direction.
How do I pay for the light rail?
As Culdesac Tempe residents, you get free, unlimited rides on the light rail! When you get to the station, just tap your Valley Metro Platinum Pass on the orange target on the ticket machine and ride.
If you forget your card or are buying for a friend, there are ticket vending machines at each station. You can pay with cash, credit, or debit card. A 1-ride pass is $2 and an all-day pass is $4. For long-term visitors, you can also get a 1-week pass or a 1-month pass.
When does the light rail run?
The light rail runs every 15 minutes Monday-Saturday and every 20 minutes on Sundays. Service goes from ~5am to ~1:30am every day. Check the app for holidays and delays.
Can I bring my bike on the light rail?
Yes! You can either stand with your bike or hang it up on the vertical bike racks. When the train is pulling in, just find the bicycle symbols on the windows to locate the door nearest to the bicycle rack. If your bike is racked, make sure you give yourself enough time and unmount the bike before the doors open.
Check more details on using your bike on the light rail here.
Here are some of our favorite hubs, restaurants, and places to visit along the light rail
- **Roosevelt/Central Ave: **Roosevelt Row Arts District, First Friday Art Market, The Churchill (restaurants, bars, local vendors in converted shipping containers)
- 44th Street/ Washington: Phoenix Intl’ Airport
- Mill Ave/3rd Street: Downtown Tempe, ASU campus, Mill Ave (nightlife & restaurants), Tempe Town Lake multi-use paths & recreation area
Culdesac Tempe (You are here)
- Smith Martin/Apache: Culdesac Tempe
- Sycamore/Main St: Asian District, Mekong Plaza, H-Mart, Two Hands Corn Dogs
How to ride the light rail safely
Having a game plan for when maintenance is announced or when other riders are in distress can make riding the light rail a safer place for everyone.
You can text Valley Metro directly at (602) 253-7886 to quickly alert the train and local authorities of safety risks or maintenance issues. It is also good to have both the Valley Metro app and the light rail safety phone app, Alert Valley Metro, to stay up-to-date on route closures and issues with the trains.
Inside every train car are several emergency intercom buttons that will immediately contact the light rail driver. Every intercom has the train car number in case you need to alert emergency services to your exact train.
As of February 2022, the light rail is following the recent federal mask mandate.
You’re the expert now! Go out and enjoy riding the light rail like a pro!