Light Rail Caught with Pants Down

Linda Valdez recently posted a pretty humorous column on the annual No Pants Day (No Pants Day is too cheeky) on the Valley Metro Light Rail system.

I don’t get the point. Are the organizers trying to highlight the folly of light rail? Or are they trying to attract more fellow riders. I mean attract in the sense of increasing ridership.

It illustrates to me that light rail isn’t a serious form of mass transit, especially when you compare cost per rider per mile. We could have a gold-plated bus system for the money we’ve spent on the narrow-service light rail system.

But I believe Scottsdale is going to get it whether we the citizens want it or not. Because, in the immortal words of former mayor Mary Manross, light rail isn’t about transit, it’s about development. And development gets what it wants in Scottsdale.

We only have to look to Tempe as an example of how the citizens get railroaded.

Several Scottsdale council members have promised that it won’t happen here without a vote. But it happened in Mesa (and Tempe before that), and the courts upheld it. From the Associated Press via the East Valley Trib back on Dec 3: Court: Mesa didn’t need to put rail plan to voters.

Another Trib article from Dec 4 discusses similar issues with the Tempe “modern streetcar” push: Officials defend planned Tempe streetcar system.


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1 Comment

  1. Just another example of what a joke light rail is. It’s a cute clip and nice to see immature people have a good time but it also is taking advantage of those who just want to ride from point A to point B without nonsense.

    The system is a loser and I think it will be a cold day in hell before Scottsdale succumbs to the lure of such nonsense blocking streets and costing a fortune to operate. Why? Because Scottsdale is affluent enough to avoid the need. In 2006 there was a discussion on such a boondoggle which died quickly. That was the era when $2 gas was considered outrageous but the idea still couldn’t gain traction. Citizens still parked with their engines and air conditioning running as they talked on their cell phones.

    Phoenix never gives up since they are stuck with this loser. Just watch a Suns game on TV. They always show a view of the arena before the game with a light rail car zooming by. That tape must be wearing out by now.

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