Central Phoenix Transportation

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Central Phoenix is located in Arizona, which is known for its hot weather and desert-style atmosphere. Arizona is a big state and Phoenix – as the state’s capital – is the largest city in the state. The Phoenix population reaches beyond 1.4 million individuals and it is known for being the most populated state capital in the United States.

Being the big city that it is you can imagine that there is a lot of land to be covered and long distances from one side of the city to the other.

The city of Phoenix is home to more than 1.4 million residents and is visited by millions of tourists year after year. It is also home to hundreds of businesses, millions of homes and commercial structures, sports stadiums, theaters, parks, mountains and so much more.

How do residents and visitors get around Central Phoenix and how do they travel from one destination to the next?

Phoenix offers a wide range of transportation options to residents and visitors alike.

Phoenix Airport

How to Get Around Central Phoenix

Phoenix has also seen continuous growth and development over the past 40 years with the population growing by nearly four percent every year. Being near the center of the state, Central Phoenix is one of the top attractions in Arizona with various activities, cultural events, entertainment, career opportunities and much more to take advantage of.

Getting around Central Phoenix is easy with public transportation, air travel, buses, train services, bicycling, reliable roads and freeways, carpool systems and more. The city and state governments also ensure that each mode of transportation as well as the roads are safe, reliable and in working condition. Central Phoenix is always growing and developing and in the past two decades alone the city has grown into an exciting urban community where residents can work, play, live and enjoy an unparalleled lifestyle.

Here is a taste of the various Central Phoenix transportation options that are available to you.


Air travel is the quickest way to reach a destination that may be located a little further away. If you are in Central Phoenix and you need to reach a different place in Arizona, a different state or if you are looking to travel away from the country on a vacation or for business you will find that the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will meet and exceed all of your air travel expectations.

The Phoenix International Airport is one of the ten busiest airports in the United States. More than 110,000 people travel through the airport on more than 1000 flights per day from various locations. The airport is located near Downtown Phoenix and it serves more than 100 cities with non-stop flights. Some prominent international airlines that travel through Phoenix include Air Canada, British Airways and Aeromexico. US Airways is one of the main domestic carriers at Phoenix International Airport and offers domestic and international flights to destinations such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico, London, Canada and Costa Rica.

The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is another local airport that serves the Central Phoenix area. The airport is located in the neighboring city of Mesa and it was converted from the Williams Air Force Base into a commercial airport when the base closed down in 1993.

Central Phoenix is home to other smaller airports that primarily handle private and corporate jets. These include the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, Scottsdale Airport, Glendale Municipal Airport, Falcon Field Airport and the Phoenix Goodyear Airport.

Freeways & Roads

Central Phoenix has one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing freeway systems with more than 1,405 lane miles. Although Phoenix does offer a reliable public transportation system, the lack of a mass form of public transit means Phoenix and its residents heavily rely upon cars as their main mode of transportation. The first freeway in Central Phoenix opened in 1958 and the roads and freeways in the area have greatly grown and expanded since. In fact, Phoenix ranks first in the nation in the quality of its urban freeways and the state as a whole ranks first in the nation in the quality of bridges.

While Phoenix is one of the most heavily populated cities in the nation, local roads and freeways do not suffer from the same congestion and traffic issues that other large cities are forced to cope with. The backbone of Phoenix’s freeways and roads system is made up of Interstate 10, Interstate 17 and Route 60. Interstate 10 runs between California and Florida and is the most heavily relied upon road in Central Phoenix. Interstate 17 runs down Arizona’s center and connects Phoenix with Sedona, Prescott, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Route 60 runs through most of the country but is only controlled as a freeway in a few short areas that include Central Phoenix.

In addition to these main freeways there are two other roads – Route 101 and Route 202 – that loop around Phoenix. Route 51 is also available and connects Downtown Phoenix with the northern parts of the city. Route 143 is the main road to take to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The roads in Central Phoenix and the surrounding areas are laid out in a grid system with most streets running north-south or east-west. The central point of the grid is right at Central Avenue and Washington Street.

Public Transportation

Valley Metro provides the majority of the public transportation throughout Central Phoenix and the surrounding areas with trains, buses and a ride-share program. Nearly four percent of workers in Central Phoenix commute by public transportation. During summer it can be extremely difficult to wait for buses in the heat as most stops do not offer cool shading. To fix this issue Valley Metro launched a 20-mile light rail project known as METRO in 2008, which travels through Central Phoenix, Downtown Phoenix and eastward through Tempe and Mesa. There are plans for future rail segments that add up to more than 30 miles and are planned for completion by 2030.

Trains & Buses

Amtrak was the major commercial bus company that served Phoenix Union Station until 1996. Amtrak took its services, rerouted its trains and and relocated when Union Pacific Railroad threatened to abandon the route between Yuma and Phoenix. Amtrak never returned to Central Phoenix leaving it as the most populated city in the United States without passenger Amtrak service.

Central Phoenix is served by the Greyhound bus service and there are Amtrak Thruway buses that connect the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Flagstaff.

Bicycle, Skateboard and Walking

Although it may be difficult to cross longer distances on foot or on a bicycle there are individuals who choose these modes of transportation as the main source of getting around Central Phoenix and the surrounding areas. There is a special committee that is dedicated to consistently working to improve conditions for bicycling on city streets and off-road paths. In fact, Bicycling Magazine ranked Phoenix as the 15th most bicycle friendly city with a population greater than 100,000 in the entire United States.

State and local governments also work hard to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians alike.


There are many reasons why Central Phoenix residents are considering joining or starting a carpool program. The United States and the rest of the world are increasingly becoming more aware of the dangers of burning fossil fuels, carbon emissions and the negative effects of global warming. This knowledge has increased awareness over fuel efficiency and other earth-friendly habits. Central Phoenix residents are also fond of carpool programs because it saves them a lot of money on gas and wear and tear damage on vehicles.

Whether you are looking to join a carpool group or if you are thinking of starting your own you can rest easy knowing that the city and the state greatly support your efforts of energy efficiency. Other benefits of carpooling include less traffic, networking with new people, more entertaining commutes, less money spent on gas and car maintenance and so much more.

Many Reasons to Appreciate the Transportation Options in Central Phoenix

Whether you are looking to get to your local grocery store or if you need to get across town you will always find an easy and efficient method of Central Phoenix transportation to fit your needs.

Central Phoenix is a quickly growing and developing urban city, which is also known for its heavy population. Central Phoenix spans over more than 550 square miles and is home to millions of residents and homes, businesses and commercial structures, parks and mountains and so much more. Some may think that it can be daunting trying to figure out how to get from Point A to Point B in such a large city, but the wide range of transportation available to residents and visitors makes this task extremely easy.

Residents and visitors can rely on personal vehicles, public transportation, trains and buses, carpool services or bicycles to get around town. The well maintained roads and freeways also make getting around Central Phoenix a breeze.

As an exciting and thriving urban community Central Phoenix has much to offer for residents and visitors alike.

There are various activities to participate in, entertainment and events to enjoy and a wide range of outdoor recreation to indulge in. There are numerous reasons why residents love living in Central Phoenix and why so many other individuals dream of relocating to this wonderful city.

If you are interested in learning more about Central Phoenix, the surrounding areas, the amenities, the attractions and the wide range of Central Phoenix transportation methods available to you then don’t hesitate to connect with our team of professionals at Phoenix Urban Spaces.