The new Thelda Williams Transit Center will connect residents to both light rail and bus service when it opens in 2024 (photo by Kathryn M. Miller).

On Friday, Nov. 17, the current Phoenix mayor and city council members were joined by three former mayors, a handful of former council members and other city leaders to honor a former District 1 city councilwoman and mayor, the late Thelda Williams. The event was held at a new transit center named in her honor and located at the former Metrocenter Mall. The city and Valley Metro announced the intention to name the center in honor of Williams in May 2023.

Williams, who passed away Tuesday, Nov. 14, was a passionate transportation advocate and public servant. She served on the Phoenix City Council for more than three decades, from 1989-96 and 2008-21, and is the only person to have been named interim mayor three different times. She also served as vice mayor, chair of the City Council Transportation Infrastructure and Planning subcommittee, and chair of the Valley Metro Rail board.

In a released statement, the City of Phoenix said, “One of her greatest initiatives was to ensure residents across the Valley have access to safe, affordable, and reliable transportation options. The transit center is a tribute to her and her tireless work for public transportation and a better quality of life for all Phoenix residents.”

The Thelda Williams Transit Center is part of the Northwest Light Rail Extension Phase II (NWEII) project, which runs 1.6 miles, from the light rail station at Dunlap and 19th avenues to Metrocenter’s elevated station, just northwest of Dunlap and the I-17.

The elevated station is the first of its kind in the Valley and made more remarkable by the addition of multiple pieces of public art that are incorporated into the center and reflective of the area’s history.

The center will be a major transit hub, where residents can connect with both light rail and bus service. It is also adjacent to a new mixed-use development, spearheaded by Concord Wilshire, that will include more than 2,600 multifamily units, 150,000 square feet of commercial with essential and service retail and 4,100 surface and garage-deck parking spaces.

Light rail testing is anticipated to begin in early 2024 along the Phase II stretch of the Valley Metro line. Learn more at


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