Monday, January 28, 2008

AZ Light Rail - A "number's game?"

Today's paper had another large article about the Phoenix Light Rail Project. Kind of a, light at the end of the tunnel / homestretch thing. Near the end of the article, it mentions:

"As part of its grant agreement with the federal government, Metro promised at least 26,000 boardings a day for the first year of operation. To meet that target, Metro is planning a series of marketing events along the line this year. As the agency prepares to begin testing in each line segment, light-rail officials plan to hold "milestone events" to let people tour the vehicles."

I have heard a little bit about some planned events but not a whole lot. I do know that the first weekend is going to be free to ride and some events with music, media and probably hot dogs/apple pie will be thrown in for good measure. Granted, it's early and they have time to get the word out but I recently read some information about the new rail line in Charlotte, North Carolina that I thought was interesting. According to Debe, a blogger in Charlotte, Ridership for the first month of their system was approximately 9000 passenger trips per day. Now, if you consider that at roughly 1/2 the size of their system in comparison with the Arizona Light Rail system, it could be a little thin for Metro.
I'm sure the business owners along the route hope the 26,000 number will be easily matched and I look forward to not only watching the numbers roll in come December but participating in the parties. :-)


Scott said...

I believe Phoenix has a larger population than CHarlotte, and your light rail line is longer.

Both of those factors should help.

But keep in mind that Phoenix has no history of mass transit other than buses.

Nick Bastian said...

Hi Scott, Much larger population (maybe double?) here and yes, our "starter line" is 20 milles vs. their 9.6 miles. The ridership numbers should be interesting. Thanks for stopping by!

Debe in Charlotte, NC said...

Great information, Nick! Thanks for the mention--if ever you're in Charlotte, let me know and I'll show you the LYNX that we've all grown to love here in Charlotte!

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Nick Bastian said...

cana07 - feel free to send us an email and we will reply with an area analysis for you. You could also use the map based mls search feature on the web site (nickbastian dot com) to get a good idea.
Thanks for stopping by!

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