It is no big secret that light rail ridership numbers have been down over the HOT summer months. Obviously, the numbers have been affected by ASU students out for summer break and people not using the system as much during the summer months for recreational use, etc. However, returning students using their “U-Pass” for riding light rail, along with more pleasant temperatures, should help boost September light rail ridership numbers.
The number of boardings at the end of the line park and ride lots were recently a topic of discussion between Mesa Vice Mayor Kyle Jones and Phoenix Vice Mayor Tom Simplot. While at a press conference detailing the new “Adopt A Station” program, Mr. Simplot challenged Mr. Jones to a contest for the month of September. Basically, the contest is to see which of the end-of-the-line stations have the most boardings. As the largest stations and the beginning and ending of the light rail system, these two light rail park and ride lots see a lot of use. So far, Mesa has had the highest use with Phoenix looking to take over that very prestigious spot.
We are talking a “high stakes” contest here with the “loser” having to clean the winner’s station. The Montebello and 19th Avenue (794 spaces) station and the Sycamore / Main Street (802 spaces) station are battling it out for the distinction of having the most boardings.
Take a look at the following video where Simplot challenges Jones. Each of the contestants wants to remind anyone that has a U-Pass or an employer issued card to make sure and “tap that card”!