Light Rail has had a pretty interesting beginning here in Arizona. While I don’t believe we will see any official ridership numbers from Metro until some time in February, I do know that there has been a lot of interest in the system. The airport shuttle has exceeded early expectations, ASU students are riding light rail, sports fans and tourists are excited and the casual user has shown a ton of interest in our new system. I have been on the trains many times and have watched people board at the 44th St station from the airport, have seen people with grocery and shopping bags downtown, have been to a Suns game, visited several restaurants and met with many business owners in this new “city within cities” that is the 20 mile stretch of our new light rail system.
A great example of one of the many types of people enjoying the light rail is a group of ladies from the First Congregational Church in Tempe. Their location, just south of the stop at 5th and College (Sun Devil Stadium) Station allows them very easy access to a whole bunch of cool places to go and things to do. Juanita Mack has been a member of the church for many years, she recently told me about their day and about how excited they are to be able to take fun trips via light rail. “I love to go to baseball games and I love to try new restaurants” said Juanita who also likes the fact that the light rail helps eliminate parking problems and allows her to read while riding to a fun destination instead of driving a car and fighting traffic. The ladies met at church, boarded a train and rode to the end of the line to see the sites. On the way back, they stopped at a Deli for lunch along the line. Think about it, that deli owner just served lunch to 17 women that would not have been in his restaurant prior to the December 27th grand opening of our light rail system.
It has been very interesting to me to field so many questions on riding, eating and having fun along the line. There is a lot of interest in pub crawls, coffee caravans, progressive dinner trips, sight seeing, family friendly trips, art tours and a whole bunch of great ideas for us to add to an upcoming section of Rail Life. For now, we really hope you find our site useful as we look forward to releasing some really cool and fun new things in the future.
We are glad that “Your Life Is On The Line!”