Phoenix Transportation

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport © Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is located east of downtown Phoenix, Arizona and only about a five-minute drive to the city.

Getting There


Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is located east of downtown Phoenix, Arizona and only about a five-minute drive to the city. Sky Harbor is a large airport and served by most major airlines. Sky Harbor has three terminals: Terminal 2, Terminal 3, and Terminal 4. The complimentary Airport Shuttle Bus offers transportation between the terminals.

Each terminal is equipped with a multi-level parking garage. There are two long-term economy parking lots on the east and west sides of the airport and two economy garages, Garages A and B, located on the east side of the airport all of which have regularly scheduled free shuttle service to the terminals.

The new Stage & Go Lot is an area west of the Terminal 2 parking garage designated for drivers who are waiting to pick up arriving passengers free of charge.

Ground Transportation

There are many car rental agencies that serve Sky Harbor. Travelers can get to the Rental Car Center by taking the complimentary, multi-colored “Rental Car Shuttle” that stops at the airport curb at the baggage claim level located just west of Sky Harbor.

Super Shuttle offers passengers 24-hour service to and from their home, business, or hotel to Sky Harbor Airport. Super Shuttle serves the entire Metropolitan Phoenix area. A ride to downtown costs about $10.

Valley Metro, Phoenix's city bus, services all three Sky Harbor terminals through the Red Line and Route 13.

Three Taxi companies service Sky Harbor. The average fare to downtown Phoenix by taxi is about $12. Limousines also service Sky Harbor. A ride from the airport to downtown Phoenix costs about $15.


Amtrak no longer services Phoenix directly but the Sunset Limited route does service the Arizona town of Maricopa about 25 miles (40 km) south of downtown Phoenix. The Sunset Limited route starts and ends in Los Angeles, California and New Orleans, Louisiana. (The route normally continues to Orlando, Florida but due to complications from Hurricane Katrina service has been suspended until further notice.)

The Southwest Chief route services Flagstaff, Arizona located 125 miles north (201 km) of Phoenix. The route runs between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California. Amtrak does offer one daily thruway bus service connection to Flagstaff.

Interstate Buses

Greyhound buses service Phoenix seven days a week. There are four routes in and out of town. One route travels south through Tucson. Another route travels north from Phoenix and splits east and west at Flagstaff, Arizona. The other two routes travel west into California splitting toward the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.


There are two main interstates that run through Phoenix. Interstate-10 (I-10) runs north-south and is the main route south to Tucson, Arizona. Before merging with I-17, I-10 curves west and heads to Los Angeles, California. I-17 leads to Flagstaff, Arizona and is the route to take when traveling to the Grand Canyon. The U.S. Route 60 heads east out of the valley. Highway 87 leads northeast out of Phoenix. U.S. Loop 101 makes a loop and connects the north, east, and west sides of the Valley.

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Getting Around


Metro Bus © Valley Metro
Valley Metro is the regional transit system for the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Having a car is almost a necessity when visiting Phoenix. The city is very large and spread out. Phoenix has several highways and streets, but once visitors are familiar with the layout it is easy to get around. The east-west streets in downtown Phoenix are named after U.S. presidents. Central Avenue divides the north-south running Avenues (west side) and Streets (east side) in downtown and midtown. There is one exception: Grand Avenue darts northwest across the grid.

Driving Tip

Some of the Phoenix highways have High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. These lanes are reserved for vehicles with more than one person, motorcycles, and hybrid vehicles marked with a hybrid plate or sticker. These lanes can be recognized by their marked diamonds.

Driving Warning

Tire blowouts are common in Arizona. A combination of high summer temperatures, under inflated tires, and high driving speeds can easily lead to accidents. Please use caution when driving the hot Arizona highways.


Valley Metro is the regional transit system for the Phoenix metropolitan area. While the bus system is wide spread it carries mostly local commuters. The Bus Book is a convenient guide to the Valley Metro bus routes that can be printed off of the Valley Metro Web site or found on the buses, transit centers, and other city locations.

Valley Metro's Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) services the State Capitol, Carnegie Center down to 6th Street. The DASH runs every six minutes.

Scottsdale Trolley

Located in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale is the Scottsdale Trolley that offers rides between Scottsdale Fashion Square, the Fifth Avenue shops, the Main Street Arts and Antiques district, and the Old Town district. These buses only operate between November and May.


Phoenix and its surrounding communities are extremely bicycle friendly with over 500 miles bike lanes, routes and paths. The Valley Metro buses accommodate bicycles.

Handicap Access

Dial-a-Ride offers service to passengers unable to use the normal Valley Metro bus service. Seniors age 65 and older and persons with disabilities qualify to use Dial-a-Ride. Proof of age or disability may be requested by the driver. The minimum fare is $1.20.

Written by: Elizabeth Blair
Top Photo Credit: © Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau
Photo Description: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport