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Valley Metro partners with Waymo to help get riders to train stations

From left: Mesa Mayor John Giles, Tempe Vice Mayor Robin Arredondo-Savage, Gilbert Council member Brigette Peterson, Glendale Vice Mayor and Valley Metro RPTA Chair Lauren Tolmachoff, Chandler Council member Kevin Hartke, Phoenix Mayor and Valley Metro Rail Chair Thelda Williams, Scottsdale Council woman Suzanne Klapp and Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith.
Photo – Valley Metro


Valley Metro in Phoenix has launched an experiment with Waymo, Google's self-driving car project, to help connect riders with their local light-rail stations.

Announced yesterday, the two-year pilot project aims to address the transit agency's first-and-last-mile challenge by helping passengers get to and from the rail station. The effort also could be used to expand Valley Metro's services for people with disabilities and seniors, according to a Valley Metro press release.

"Technology is fueling a transportation revolution," said Phoenix Mayor and Valley Metro Rail Chair Thelda Williams. "Valley Metro and Waymo are joining forces to pilot autonomous vehicle trips to better understand the purpose of real-life trips and connectivity."

Valley Metro will begin using the self-driving vehicle technology for first-and- last-mile transit trips this month.

"This is the first partnership between a public transit system and a private autonomous vehicle company that will provide a mobility service outside of a controlled environment," said Scott Smith, Valley Metro's chief executive officer. "Think of it as the start of mobility on demand or mobility as a service."

To learn more about transit agencies' efforts to address the first-and-last-mile challenge, read this article in the July issue of Progressive Railroading.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/1/2018