When I was a little kid, we lived right by Pioneer Park in Mesa. That was a LONG time ago and times have certainly changed.
The grand opening of the Mesa light rail line was a fun chance to take my kids to see what is happening in this part of town. We had a lot of fun with Metro’s “Selfie Stops” and the boys took photos at each one. It was cool to run in to a bunch of friends and to see and hear the excitement that so many people have about Downtown Mesa.
Here are the pics that the boys took from all 9 of the Selfie stops. ( Just click to enlarge. )
Metro and the city of Mesa and so many partner organizations put on a fun day for people to be a part of this historic day. I’m looking forward to going back there and enjoying some of the new restaurants, coffee shops and businesses.
Here are some more pics from the day. They had station celebrations at the four new stations located on Main Street at Alma School Road, Country Club Drive, Center Street and Mesa Drive with music, food and activities for the entire family. They also gave commemorative passes for use the day of the event. Here’s a link to a bunch of photos from the Mesa celebration.
Here’s a couple of Instagram videos that show a bit of the fun:
This Rail Life blog has helped me keep up with the changes along the line but so many people really have no idea as to what is happening in this part of town. As my business has grown over the past couple of years, I haven’t been able to keep up with the site like I’d like to. Hopefully, I can find someone to help with Rail Life as it is something I really love to do. If you know of any people who would like to write articles about transit or if you know a real estate agent who would like to join our team to work in these areas, PLEASE let me know. We will be helping a LOT of people find homes near the Mesa light rail extension.
For more information about the day, here’s a press release from Metro about the Mesa light rail grand opening.
MESA, AZ – It’s a historic day for the Valley’s public transportation system, the city of Mesa and the entire region. Valley Metro Rail’s first light rail extension began service today connecting riders with downtown Mesa.
Valley Metro and city of Mesa hosted station celebrations at the four new stations located on Main Street at Alma School Road, Country Club Drive, Center Street and Mesa Drive. Residents across the Valley came out to also enjoy live music, food, activities to discovering the new destinations that are now just a train ride away.
Seven months ahead of schedule and on budget, the additional 3.1-miles of service on Main Street between Sycamore Drive and Mesa Drive was greeted with big cheers from riders, business owners and local leaders.
“Today, a dream for many becomes reality,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “Light rail is rejuvenating downtown Mesa, offering residents and visitors across the Valley an opportunity to travel to new destinations and discover Mesa.”
Four new light rail stations, and a new 500 space park-and-ride at the northeast corner of Main Street and Mesa Drive, provide convenience to explore Mesa and discover new dining, entertainment and shopping. The stations are becoming landmarks of their own, each with beautiful art reflecting Mesa’s rich culture and history. The station artists incorporated the unique qualities of the area surrounding each station and the theme Old Roots New Growth.
Valley Metro and its contractor, Valley Transit Constructors, began construction of the Central Mesa light rail extension in summer 2012. More than 700 jobs were generated annually during the project’s peak construction. Funding of the extension was provided by a $75 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration, as well as $71 million in countywide transportation tax funds and $53 million in federal air quality funds.
“Light rail has generated an $8.2 billion investment along the first 20 miles into Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, and with this extension we know that investment is only going to grow,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “With Mesa’s new extension and the opening of the Northwest extension next March, more residents have greater access to jobs, education, medical appointments, shopping and entertainment.”
Valley Metro Rail will continue to expand in the East Valley with two additional miles of service to Gilbert Road. Opening is anticipated in 2018.