Streetfilms: A Bright Beginning for Phoenix Light Rail

Everyone knows that Phoenix has a huge sprawl problem. But now transit-oriented development is on the upswing in this Sun Belt metropolis. In
December, the Phoenix region opened one of the most ambitious transit projects
in recent U.S. history: a 20-mile light rail line with 28 stops
serving three cities (Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa). Future plans include an extension within three years, with several new corridors being studied. 

The Valley Metro
vehicles are handsome and comfortable, and thus far ridership has far exceeded initial projections — with as many as 40,000 riders per day, compared to the expected 25,000. Each station features amenities and art installations. In addition, with many folks using the light rail as an intermodal
step in their commutes, bicycles
are welcome aboard. 

  • ca

    40k riders PER WEEK?!?!

    What a joke, the lex carries 1.3million people PER DAY

  • In the video she says 40,000 per day… the 40,000 per week in the article must be a typo

  • Our mistake — ridership reaches 40,000 on peak days.

  • Not bad! Forty thousand riders is between the M101 (Lex/3d) and M15 (1st/2d) in daily ridership.

  • Common people. You are trying to compare this city to NYC, don’t bother. I am sure for Phoenix to hit 40K per day is a great step forward. Don’t foget the cities population is 1.5 million, not 8.2. I am sure their numbers are only going to go up over the next few years.

  • It’s actually a pretty great number for a new system in a city that is as sprawled out as it can get (the only place of compare might be L.A.)

    In fact, I think I was happiest in Phoenix whenever I was on the light rail, lots of people, lots of bikes!

  • bb

    Yes Phoenix finally gets some faster transit. People love it.

    Phoenix had over 60 million boardings a year before light rail. So roughly 1 million a week. Not bad for a system which stops at midnight.

    Yes tons of bikes I have seen a record 8 bikes in one train car.
    No surprise here, since you can do a combo ride and rest to make the 10 mile commute which is very common here.

    The downside, even with the popularity we have now one car trains during peak ridership, fare hike in July, and sales tax which is going to delay future expansion.

    As for planning they now are not going to the Metro Center mall but stopping short of it and using a bus connector how frikin sad. They will stop short about .4 miles. I might add there is a bus transit, park and ride, mall, and now no train.

    Also it looks like they are not going to use I 10 for rapid transit but instead use the slow street. They already have the land reserved for this a 50 foot median, but want the slow street again how frikin sad.

    Phoenix is extremely frustrating to live in with out a car. Two steps forward and one step back. If anything goes right hopefully we will get some like minded people to move here instead of the sprawlers.

  • The ridership numbers have exceeded initial expectations by quite a bit.

    For April, METRO achieved an average weekday ridership of 37,386, average Saturday ridership of 32,720 and average Sunday and holiday ridership of 22,694.

    These coincide with 32.6% over initial weekday ridership:
    49.1% over projected Saturday ridership:
    92.9% over projected Sunday / Holiday ridership.

    For May, the numbers dipped under a million boardings as ASU goes on break, people head for cooler temps etc.

    There is obviously a much higher “recreational” user taking advantage of the system than originally planned for. Yes, bikes are very popular on the trains and the TOD is an area of the Valley that still makes sense for some developers.

    Many new business openings along Central Avenue are attributed to the line and sales tax revenue near by appears to be doing much better than most areas of the “city of sprawl.”

    I like to call the areas along our new system a “City Within Cities” because it has opened up so many more options to people living and working along the light rail line.

    Great video!

  • Quïnn Hue

    Did they make the sound the Payment system a windows default sound?

  • Quïnn Hue

    Did they make the sound the Payment system makes when you “swipe” it, a windows default sound? Sorry for the typo.


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