Posts Tagged ‘light rail’

4th June
written by Sean Noble

As if you needed more reason not to ride the light rail in Phoenix, this should keep you off for good. 

Around 8 a.m., a train was stopped for cleaning after a man smudged feces in the interior of the train. Police were told the man on the train was flicking and playing with feces.

The light rail operator was notified and quickly took the train out of service.

“It is a biohazard, and we have protocol for how we handle a situation like this,” says Hillary Foose. Those protocols include disinfecting the train.

Are we really surprised?  Riders have to hold it until the end of the line and they’re not required to wear pants, so of course this kind of crap was going to happen.

5th February
written by Sean Noble

Waiting at the light at 19th Ave and Camelback in Phoenix on Wednesday evening, I watched a northbound 3-car train go past with 18 passengers.  I then watched a southbound 3-car train go by with exactly 4 passengers.

Then I read the lede to today’s Arizona Republic story: Just as ridership is growing to record levels on the Valley’s public transit, authorities are edging closer to enacting big fare hikes.

Let me get this straight.  Ridership is at record levels, and there were 4 people on a train at 6:45 p.m. on a weeknight?  It only took one person to gain 50% in ridership?  I guess that makes it pretty easy to attain “record levels.” And now we’re worried that we’re going to reduce ridership because fares will go up?

Less than 30 days ago, light rail officials were reporting that they were “on track to meet or beat its ridership projections for the year.”  This was after exactly one week of operating with paying riders.

It’s not like there weren’t a lot of people telling us this wasn’t going to work.   We’ll just have to continue to pay for it for years and years to come.

28th January
written by Sean Noble

Maybe I was wrong about light rail in the Valley.  Maybe it was a good idea.  I mean, it’s a nearly daily floodgate of material for blogging! 

 The latest is the tiff between Sheriff Joe and his plan to transport prisoners on the light rail, and the City of Phoenix in a panic to prevent that from happening.

There is some rich irony in this story.  Here is the quote from a Metro official: “I can’t speak for the sheriff or his office, but public transportation is not a controlled environment, and it is not intended for this kind of use.”

So according to metro, guards transporting prisoners is not an intended use.  But people claiming to be artists can take off their pants and we are supposed to celebrate the “public space” that is now available?

The joke that is light rail will be the gift that keeps on giving.

25th January
written by Sean Noble

The problems with light rail in the Valley of the Sun continue to mount.  This time, the brainiacs who brought us light rail (and their “public places for art”) decided that it was too much hassle (and money) to provide any facilities for the folks they were luring to the trains.

Once again, the wise urban planners forget that we are all human after all.  You’ll just have to hold it.

28th December
written by Sean Noble

No, I’m not talking about my blog… but it could work.

The Sunday edition of the Arizona Republic devoted a front page, top of the fold, huge headline story to the inaugural run of “light rail” in the Valley of the Sun.  An estimated 90,000 people showed up for the free ride.  The article was typical “isn’t this great!” hype, but there were a few nuggets that made me crack a smile. 

“I was trying to beat the crowd, of course there’s no crowd,” was a comment by a guy who showed up at 6:00 a.m. to stand alone for nearly three hours waiting for his free ride.

Or this lady, “We’re just riding to Tempe, Mill Avenue, for lunch and riding back. And then we can say we did it.”  That doesn’t sound like somone planning to do it again.

Of the 90,000 people that officials say rode the rail on opening day, it will interesting to watch what the average ridership is when the novelty wears off and it starts costing money to get on the train.