The Phoenix Metro light rail began service in December 2008. It began service with an impressive 20-mile starter line, going through the downtown area, Arizona State University main campus, and to an end station in one of the larger cities in the State, Mesa.
One of the extensions that is under progress is a 3-mile addition to the current end station and with it will push the new end station next to the Mesa Mormon Temple. So, what about such a decision?
The Mesa Mormon Temple is a gathering stop for church member throughout the year. There are thousands of visitors each week that will come to visit, some from miles around. In addition, there is an annual Pageant in March/April that draws 10,000+ visitors to the site. This extension would allow seniors and others from across the valley major Park N Ride lots to connect with this station. It promises to be a big hit with ridership.
The City and region is trying to develop more transit friendly and transit oriented development in the light rail corridor. This is a ready-made solution to gather instant ridership on the trains. It portends to be successful. I am sitting on a Stakeholder Committee that is fine tuning some last minute options for the final plan.
The project will take several years, but as the infrastructure is built, the tracks are laid down, and service extended, the community and businesses in the area will be favorably helped and supported by thousand of new customers and patrons.