90,000 riders help launch Metro light rail in Phoenix

august2008-metro-light-rail-phoenixAccording to Bizjournals.com and the AP, this weekend began with about 90,000 riders to help launch Phoenix‘s Metro light rail. This new 20 mile loop is well on its way to the expected 200,000 riders on the rail line’s first weekend.

This is a great alternative to the car-crazy mentality that has snarled and polluted the once beautiful city.

Thousands of people were seen packing into train cars Saturday as Phoenix launched its new light rail system. Applauded by many, critics maintain that ridership would be limited by urban sprawl and the area’s grueling summer heat.  On the Net See: Metro light-rail:

http://www.valleymetro.org/metro_light_rail/

In Wisconsin, we are looking forward to a similar system that would tie together Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine (KRM) and Chicago into a single huge metro rail system. Eventually we would like to see Madison and Minneapolis tied into the system.

JCE

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2 Responses to “90,000 riders help launch Metro light rail in Phoenix”

  1. stargzr09 Says:

    Wow! The city of Toronto has just committed to a similar light-rail transit system. Hope our streetcars look as gorgeous as Phoenix/Tempe’s! The plan is to have all new lines up and running by 2016. Funding is confirmed for about half of the proposed lines now.

    The concern in Toronto is not grueling summer heat (although we do have that for short periods, with 99% humidity adding a “humidex” to the temperature) but with the kind of hell-frozen-over cold that we have this week. The GTA temperature has plummeted to below zero Fahrenheit range, that is -19 to -25 degrees Celsius, daily since 11 January. Those temperatures negatively affect all types of urban transit.

    The GTA also has massive urban sprawl and low urban density, that has stalled subway development: apparently the exact situation that light-rail transit can improve.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on Phoenix for reports of the positives and negatives of the LRT there.

    • johnceberhardt Says:

      Thanks so much for the comment.

      I am so happy for you. I am hopeful that our new President Obama will fund public transportation and new energy sources instead of spending our tax dollars on wars. The new economic stimulus package is supposed to include both light rail transit and high speed rail.

      Currently, we have very few trains running passenger service in United States. There’s only one train that runs from Milwaukee to Chicago. It runs on ancient tracks that are probably over 100 years old. The train station in Milwaukee, however, was updated about 35 years ago and is still very nice for its age. I think it would be too much to hope for if they would have little “mini stations” scattered about so that passengers awaiting the next train or connection could attain some level of comfort instead of our current shabby bus stop style “half shelters”. Avoiding hypo or hyperthermia is always nice.

      I know what you mean about temperature. Here in Wisconsin we have similar concerns regarding temperature and the weather here can be brutal regardless of the season. Last night it got down to a bone chilling minus 30°Fahrenheit. I have no idea what the wind chill was calculated to be but it felt like it was tearing away at my face.
      I am assuming that they will be building the GTA system in phases so I will have to come and visit soon to see how things are going. It is gratifying to see the world moving forward with great rail systems but at the same time it is sad to see that the United States has become a follower and not a leader.

      JCE

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