So, what’s in a name?
The Arizona Rail Passenger Association has long suggested changes to what they feel can be confusing or unclear station names. What they would like is for METRO to have sensible station names for use with maps, signage and audible alerts on the trains. While many people may not give this topic a ton of thought, others feel it is worth discussing.
Our first topic is what some people at the ARPA call the long, confusing and downright improper use of the METRO station names which they feel can be a detriment to the riders experience.
“Stations need proper names to establish a sense of place, foster community pride, and make the system easy to talk about.” – ARPA
These are suggested ( by the ARPA ) names for the stations followed by their current names:
- Bethany / Chris-Town – Montebello & 19th Avenue
- 19th Ave & Camelback – No change suggested yet. The area is in transition.
- Melrose – 7th Ave & Camelback
- Uptown – Central & Camelback
- Central High – Campbell & Central
- Indian School – Indian School & Central
- Park Central – Osborn & Central
- Midtown – Thomas & Central
- Heard Museum – Encanto & Central
- Library – McDowell & Central
- Cathedral – Roosevelt & Central
- Central Station – Van Buren & Central & 1st Avenue
- City Hall – Jefferson Street and Central Avenue and Washington Street and First Avenue
- Convention Center – 3d Street and Washington and 3d Street and Jefferson
- Eastlake / 12th Street – 12th St. & Washington and 12th St. & Jefferson
- 24th Street – 24th St. & Washington and 24th St. & Jefferson
- GateWay – 38th St. & Washington & Jefferson
- Airport – 44th St. & Washington & Jefferson
- Papago Park – Priest Drive & Washington
- Mill – Mill Ave & 3d Street
- Sun Devil – Veterans Way & College
- University – University Drive & Rural Road
- Dorsey – Dorsey & Apache
- McClintock – McClintock & Apache
- Smith-Martin – Smith-Martin & Apache Boulevard
- Loop 101-Price – Price-101 Freeway & Apache
- Dobson – Sycamore & Main
So, do you think the names are a big deal? Obviously, changing the station names and the signage, etc. would cost money and we have heard METRO say, many times, that money doesn’t exactly grow on trees. Is it too late to try and right the ship a little bit going forward and looking at the Mesa light rail stations? Check out the photo below with some suggestions for the upcoming Mesa extension.
The second topic has to do with what to call the trains. The ARPA wants to know… Do you ride the light rail? Do you ride the METRO? Do you ride a train or a trolley? Do you care what it is called? “Technically” speaking, they say you don’t ride a light rail. Here’s what I have heard from them:
“The vehicle is a trolley (or train, or tram) not a rail!
Do you ride the street? No, you ride the bus.
Do you board the river? No, you board the boat.
Do you ride the runway? No, you ride the airplane.
Same with trains. Otherwise language makes no sense.”
The photo below try’s to make the point a little more clearly:
Photos by Flickr user wlindley
So, many people, including METRO, say they "ride the light rail" – Does that make sense? Or is it important to note that the trolley rides on the rail and we ride on the trolley?
Hey, I don’t claim to have all of the answers, I’m just a geek that likes to blog… What the heck do YOU think?