With an easy-to-learn street and highway system, light rail, park-and-rides and a comprehensive local bus system, it’s easy for anyone with a new business in Arizona to see that Greater Phoenix offers a multitude of transportation options. The Maricopa Association of Governments and Central Arizona Association of Governments also work diligently on continuously improving our transportation system both inside the area and to other major markets.
As a new professional in the Greater Phoenix area or as a new business in Arizona, it’s relatively easy to become ingrained in the community. Local organization www.networkingphoenix.com has hundreds of annual events aimed specifically at mingling and business networking.
Click on a town or city to learn more about working there and commute distances.
Located in the East Valley along U.S. 60 with easy access to Loop 202, Apache Junction is named for the junction of the Apache Trail and U.S. Highway 60 and straddles both Maricopa and Pinal Counties. Apache Junction is approximately 37 miles from Phoenix, and is just a short drive from the neighboring communities of Mesa, Gilbert and Queen Creek. It’s home to Central Arizona College as well as the Arizona operations of Blue Bell ice cream.
Avondale is located in the Southwest Valley along the Interstate 10 corridor, just a 15-minute commute from downtown Phoenix. Avondale’s freeway development sites are premium locations in the metro area with more than 2.3 million individuals within a 30-minute radius. Avondale is home to the Phoenix International Raceway which attracts millions of visitors, and many of its school districts are major employers since it has such a high volume of families who choose to live there.
Buckeye’s location in the Southwest Valley, approximately 37 miles to downtown Phoenix, makes it an easy commute to all the communities along I-10. From here, it’s 33 miles to Glendale, 15 miles to Goodyear and 21 Miles to Tolleson. State Route 85 connects Buckeye to Interstate 10, while Maricopa County Route 85 leads to Goodyear and Phoenix, and the Sun Valley Parkway connects Buckeye to the North. Valley Metro operates an express bus (563) to and from downtown Phoenix during peak hours. Major employers include a Walmart distribution center, Fertizona, Quik-crete, Quincy Joist and the Buckeye School Districts.
Casa Grande straddles the intersection of State Routes 93, 84 and 287, just a few miles northwest of the I-10/ I-8 interchange. In addition to these national and international roadway connections, the Union Pacific Railroad passes through the City and is an active line that connects the major ports and freight transfer points in Los Angeles and El Paso. Its proximity to these important junctions make it a great place for logistics, shipping and distribution centers. Major employers in Casa Grande include Abbott Laboratories, Hexcel and Frito Lay, and many residents also commute north to work in metro Phoenix (50 miles) or south to work in Tucson (76 miles).
Just 22 miles from downtown Phoenix, Chandler commuters can get to work using a number of newer freeways and surface streets. The San Tan Loop 202 Freeway connects the southern part of the city with Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and the Loop 101, which runs along its western side, as well as Interstate 10 further west., State Route 87 offers a straight shot north to Mesa or south to Sun Lakes. The Chandler Municipal Airport eases some even longer commutes. Valley Metro operates three express bus routes (540, 541 and 542) to and from downtown Phoenix during peak hours, as well as LINK commuter bus service to and from Mesa’s light rail station. Major employers in Chandler include Intel, American Express, eBay/PayPal, Staples and many smaller high-tech companies.
El Mirage has direct access to the US-60, US-101 and US 303, which gives many different options for city-to-city transportation. El Mirage has a reputation as a business-driven suburb northwest of Phoenix with the ability to attract new residents and companies in a very competitive economic development environment. As one of the fastest growing cities in the region, El Mirage plans to continue supporting its growth through the improvement of roads to enhance economic development.
Fountain Hills is just east of State Route 87 (the Beeline Highway), approximately 26 miles from downtown Phoenix at the eastern end of Shea Boulevard, which offers a quick connection to central Scottsdale. Commuters in Fountain Hills can travel easily to Mesa, Scottsdale and the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation, and are less than 90 miles from the Rim Country town of Payson. Valley Metro operates an express bus (512) to and from downtown Phoenix during peak hours. Many Fountain Hills residents work for Intel, Bank of America, American Express, MCO Properties and Apollo Group, as well as local businesses including healthcare, education, retail and other service industries.
Gila Bend sits approximately 74 miles southwest of downtown Phoenix at the intersection of State Routes 238 and 85, just north of Interstate 8. Valley Metro operates an express called the Gila Bend Phoenix Regional Connector (685). While many residents commute to other Valley cities, Gila Bend is becoming nationally renowned for solar, with major solar farms like Solana, Poloman and Cotton Center. Major employers include Swift Transportation, Werner Enterprises, Entegra Power Group, Wayzata, APS, Abengoa Solar, Doubletree Papermills, Paloma Dairy, Sarah Farms and Randstad Engineering.
Just 20 miles from downtown Phoenix and 10 miles from Mesa, Gilbert is blessed with a central East Valley location that puts it close to US 60, Loop 202 and Loop 101 – making for fast travel times to many neighboring communities. Wide surface streets ease congestion and shorten commute times as well. Valley Metro operates an express bus (531) to and from downtown Phoenix during peak hours. Notable Gilbert employers include Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, Celebration Stem Cell Centre, Lockheed Martin, Orbital Sciences, Go Daddy, Infusionsoft and Unicon.
The City of Glendale is in the heart of the West Valley, just 15 miles from downtown Phoenix, five miles from Peoria and 14 miles from Avondale. The downtown straddles US 60, while the city is flanked on the west by the Agua Fria Loop 101 and to the east by Interstate 17. Local bus service takes riders from Luke Air Force Base to downtown Phoenix with many convenient stops. Local employers include Honeywell, Bechtel, Humana, Conair, Banner Thunderbird Hospital, Linamar Solar, ASU West and Glendale Community College.
Located 24 miles from Phoenix and 16 miles from Glendale, Goodyear offers easy access to Interstate 10 in the West Valley. Valley Metro operates an express bus (562) between the Goodyear Park and Ride and downtown Phoenix during peak hours. Local bus service is also available from nearby Avondale. Many Goodyear residents commute to jobs in other Valley cities, but local employers include Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Cavco Industries, Sub-Zero, Macy’s distribution, Suntech Holdings and Saint Gobain Solar.
Maricopa has grown up around the intersection of State Routes 347 and 238, adjacent to the Ak-Chin Native American Community and approximately 32 miles from Phoenix, 25 miles from Chandler and 23 miles from Casa Grande. Agriculture, production, transportation and material moving are the biggest industries in Maricopa. Major local employers include Volkswagen of America Proving Grounds, University of Arizona Agricultural Farm, U.S. Department of Agriculture Arid Land Research Center, Pinal Energy Ethanol Plant, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel and Casino and L& P Steel Industries.
Mesa is a broad city that stretches from Tempe in the west to the Pinal County line in the east. From Mesa’s city center, it is approximately 12 miles to Phoenix, 11 miles to Scottsdale and seven miles to downtown Tempe. The city is served by three major freeways: US 60, Red Mountain Loop 202 and the Price Road Loop 101 freeway. Valley Metro operates four express bus routes (531, 532, 533 and 535) to and from downtown Phoenix during peak hours, as well as local bus routes serving the Mesa community and LINK commuter bus service to the Chandler Park and Ride. Downtown Mesa is also the eastern terminus of the Valley’s modern light rail system that links Mesa with Tempe, downtown Phoenix and beyond. One of two regional airports – Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport – is in Mesa as well as Falcon Field. Major employers in Mesa include Banner Health System, Boeing, Empire Southwest, SRP, Able Engineering and First Solar, but the city’s central location also makes commutes to outside communities easy.
Peoria is strategically located on US 60 and along the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, approximately 27 miles from downtown Phoenix, five miles from Glendale and 10 miles from Surprise. Downtown Peoria is close to the Agua Fria Loop 101 Freeway, which provides access to all parts of the Valley. Valley Metro operates two local bus routes serving Peoria, as well as “Dial-A-Ride” service. While many residents commute to jobs in other Valley cities, major Peoria employers include Maxwell Technologies, Immanuel Care Campus, Antigua, OakCraft and the Wasserstrom Company.
Phoenix is centrally located and enjoys a number of modern freeways, including Interstate 17, which moves traffic north and south, and Interstate 10, which takes commuters to and from the far western and eastern stretches of the city. Loop 101 rings the northern part of Phoenix and links the southern suburbs, while loop 202 takes commuters from central Phoenix to the East Valley. State Route 51 links the central city with Loop 101 on the city’s northern edge. The city has a modern transit system that includes both local and express bus service, as well as “RAPID” buses that take commuters non-stop to and from strategically located Park and Ride facilities. Phoenix also has a popular light rail system that runs from north-central Phoenix through downtown to Tempe and Mesa further east. Sky Harbor Airport, one of the nation’s busiest, is centrally located just southeast of downtown and easy to reach from all parts of the Valley. Some of Phoenix’s largest employers are Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, United Health Group, Honeywell, American Express, Avnet, Mayo Clinic, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold and Goodrich Corporation.
Queen Creek is in the Southeast Valley near the intersection of Ocotillo, Ellsworth and Rittenhouse Roads. It is 13 miles from Chandler, 24 miles from Mesa and 34 miles from downtown Phoenix. Many Queen Creek residents commute elsewhere in the Valley, but local employers include Canyon State Academy, the Queen Creek Unified School District and the Town of Queen Creek.
Scottsdale’s location makes it one of the Valley’s most desirable addresses. While it has access to only two freeways, Loop 101 carries commuters from northern neighborhoods to and from the south, and loop 202 traverses the southern part of the city giving easy access to Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. Other north-south corridors through the city’s greenbelts provide good access to the city’s employment, shopping and entertainment centers. Valley Metro operates three express bus routes (510, 511 and 512) to and from downtown Phoenix during peak hours, as well as local bus routes and a downtown trolley serving the Scottsdale community. Major employers include Mayo Clinic, CVS/CareMark, The Vanguard Group, Dial Corporation, Taser International, Go Daddy and is home to the largest Yelp location nationwide. Additionally, many smaller, hi-tech businesses are centered around the Scottsdale Airpark or ASU’s SkySong.
Surprise is located in the West Valley along Bell Road near the intersection of Grand Avenue and the bend in the Loop 303 Freeway. It is approximately 13 miles from Glendale, 10 miles from Peoria, five miles from Sun City and 35 miles from downtown Phoenix. Valley Metro operates an express bus route (571) to and from downtown Phoenix during peak hours, as well as “Dial-A-Ride” service. Top employers in Surprise include Crescent Crown Distribution, Rioglass Solar, Gestamp Solar Steel, Intrepid Tool Industries and Janus International.
The City of Tempe enjoys an ideal, central location close to other Valley cities and important transportation corridors. With Loop 202 on the city’s northern edge, US 60 traversing its center, Loop 101 to the east and Interstate 10 along its western border, the city is easy to access and easy to get around. It is just six miles to Phoenix, six miles to Scottsdale and seven miles to Mesa. Valley Metro operates three express bus routes (511, 520 and 521) to and from downtown Phoenix during peak hours, as well as local bus routes, neighborhood circulators, a downtown trolley and Dial A Ride service. The Valley’s Metro light rail line connects Tempe and ASU with both downtown Phoenix and the western edge of Mesa. Arizona State University is a major employer in Tempe, as is the headquarters of U.S. Airways. Because of ASU’s role as a major research center, many hi-tech, alternative energy, solar and biotech companies are flocking to the city.
Located near 91st Avenue and the intersection of Interstate 10 and the Agua Fria Loop 101 Freeway, Tolleson is approximately 19 miles from Phoenix, 11 miles from Glendale and six miles from Goodyear. Valley Metro operates an express bus route (560) to and from downtown Phoenix during peak hours, as well as a local bus route serving the community. While many residents work in neighboring cities, Tolleson employers include companies in the agricultural, manufacturing, material moving, transportation, healthcare, construction and education industries.
Located along the main thoroughfare between Phoenix and Las Vegas, the town of Wickenburg is 65 miles from downtown Phoenix, 34 miles from Surprise and 45 miles from Glendale. At the intersection of US 60 and US 93, it is located along the main line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and is home to the Wickenburg Municipal Airport. Employment opportunities in Wickennburg include jobs in the educational, health and social services, tourism, transportation, retail, construction and hospitality industries.
Youngtown is located between US-60 and Olive Avenue, and between the 101 and 303 Freeways. Its strategic location perfectly accommodates small manufacturing and distribution. The Town's largest businesses are two pharmaceutical formularies, for women and pets, which employ more than 200 people.