Phoenix Light Rail System

Phoenix is a sprawling city. It’s virtually impossible to bike or walk anywhere. Polluting cars clog up the highways–almost always with a single person in the car. The city tried to stop this problem and encourage carpooling by creating a carpool lane, which only allows vehicles with two or more passengers to drive in that lane during the times of day with the heaviest traffic. I’m not sure how much people are actually using it.

This 20-mile light rail system in Phoenix, Arizona, makes transportation greener. Photo By phxwebguy/Courtesy Flickr

About a year ago the city created a Light Rail System that made it just a tad greener–and people seem to be embracing it.

Ridership on the METRO light rail reached an all-time high in October with a little more than one million riders–70,000 more riders than the high in September.

The light rail system is a 20-mile line with 28 stops; many of the stops offer park and ride. While the rail line does go to Sky Harbor International Airport and through three cities–Mesa, Phoenix and Tempe–it still doesn’t cater to very much of the overall area. (The nearest light rail stop to my mom’s house in Scottsdale is 30 minutes away, for example.) However, the city plans to expand the system in the future–the earliest by 2019. Other metropolitan cities should definitely look at Phoenix and take note.

Do you ride the Phoenix light rail or a similar system in your city? Tell me about it in the comments section.

Published on Nov 20, 2009

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