After years of waiting, the Grand Opening Celebrations for the new Phoenix Light Rail system are nearly upon us. The first public light rail trains will begin carrying passengers at 10am on December 27th. Each of the 28 stations will be open and operational with large celebrations planned fpr 9 of the stations. All light rail rides will be free of charge through January 2008. As of January 1st, 2009 at 4:40am, you must have a transit pass to board the trains.
METRO expects large crowds of people participating in this historic event and will have ambassadors on hand to answer questions that people might have. Questions like…
Accessibility: Each light rail car can accommodate wheel chairs, strollers and walkers. Bike racks are also on each train but they are asking that people DO NOT bring bikes on the train during the grand opening celebrations because of the large crowds that are expected. (bikes are more than welcome as of the 29th)
Coming and Going: People may board the trains at any of the stations. To help ensure smoother boardings at each stop, the 19th Ave / Montebello station and the Sycamore / Main St station (ends of the line) will not be filled to capacity. When full trains arrive at these end of the line stations, all passengers will be asked to exit the trains to allow new passengers. Shuttle bus service will be arriving at each stop to help move people that might want to get back to their original destination. All park and ride stations will be available on a first come, first served basis.
Food/ Drink, Pets etc: Food is not permitted on the trains and all drinks must be in spill proof containers. Please remember, there are MANY great restaurants and shops located along the line, you are more than welcome to visit them! 🙂 Pets on leash will be allowed at light rail celebrations but will NOT be permitted on the light rail vehicles.
Rain or Shine: The celebrations are located outdoors and will be held rain or shine. Luckily, we live in Arizona but be prepared to dress appropriately.
Restrooms Portable toilets will be available at each celebration.
There promises to be a TON of exciting and interesting things to do at the light rail celebrations. Of course, the light rail cars will be the star of the show. Please be patient with the crowd, plan on being patient as people get use to the new system and PLEASE be safe and use common sense. Remember to expect large crowds, it probably does not make sense to think you will be able to walk up to each stop and immediately board a train. Take advantage of some of the fun events, check out some of the businesses and plan to have some fun. Remember, "Your Life Is On The Line!"
Most of this information has been gathered from the Metro Grand Opening Guide. For more information, you may also contact Valley Metro's light rail page. Please note, Rail Life is NOT associated with Metro or with Valley Metro.