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10 Years Later: Evaluating Phoenix Light Rail

A big feature story celebrates the first ten years of Valley Metro Rail.
December 30, 2018, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Chris Curtis

"Ten years ago, on an unusually frosty Phoenix morning, the Valley's most important dignitaries unveiled one of the most expensive and controversial taxpayer-funded projects in Arizona history," according to the lede of a feature article by Jessica Boehm.

The feature includes ten chapters, ranging from an evaluating of system performance to the politics of local support and federal funding. The "mixed results" reported in the article include the following:

  • "The rail system almost immediately exceeded its target ridership numbers, and today has an average weekday ridership of about 50,000, a number Valley Metro didn't expect to reach until 2020."
  • "Valley Metro estimates $11 billion in private and public investment has sprouted within a half mile of the light-rail line since 2008."

According to Boehm, political forces are coalescing in the city to block any additional expansion of the system, despite dedicated tax revenue devoted to capital investments.

The article includes a lot more history and assessments of the present and future of light rail in Phoenix.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, December 20, 2018 in Arizona Central
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