Metro light rail outgoing CEO Rick Simonetta was honored this past week with a “farewell” ride and reception at the Phoenix Art Museum. The shindig was made possible by a lot of “transportation geeks” pulling out all the stops to thank Rick for his hard work on our light rail system. Simonetta was honored by his peers and city leadership for his six years of service and expertise, opening up the Valley’s first light rail system on time and on budget. Without a doubt, the early success of this system has changed the tone for light rail ( and transportation in general) in Arizona.
Local and national groups HDR consultants, COMTO transportation officials, WTS along with Friends of Transit and the Arizona Transit Association teamed up to host the last ride and farewell reception.
On Wednesday, a train left the Sycamore/Main station in Mesa a little after 4:10 p.m. with Simonetta and Mesa city leadership and staff on board. The train then traveled west to pick up leaders in both Tempe and Phoenix. The group all disembarked at the Central/McDowell station and proceeded to the reception site at the Phoenix Art Museum. I bet you have never seen so many suits on the light rail!
Our itinerary was as follows:
* Train departs at 4:10 p.m. from the Sycamore/Main station.
* Picks up Tempe leadership at 4:23 p.m. from the Veterans Way/College station.
* Picks up Phoenix leadership at 4:50 p.m. from the Washington/Central station.
* Group disembarks at the Central/McDowell station at 4:55 p.m.
* VIP reception from 5 – 6 p.m. - Full reception from 6 – 8 p.m.
Who was there? Mayors, Vice Mayors and Council members of METRO member cities along with people from COMTO were onboard to participate and speak at the reception.
Dorsha Hale with HDR was instrumental in putting together this really cool “farewell video” for Simonetta and allowed me and my “video guru” friend, Tyler Hurst to help put it together.
Thanks so much to Rick and to METRO light rail for giving me some fun stuff to write about! 🙂