Today marks the 10th anniversary of METRO light rail’s inauguration. In celebration of METRO at 10, relive the day with some photos.
Ten years ago today (27 December 2008), Phoenix made history. It had opened the first part of its new METRO light rail (WBIYB) connecting many different parts of our community. The initial system was touted to be the starter line of a system that would spread tentacle-like throughout the Phoenix metro area, linking commercial corridors, cultural institutions, residential communities, sports arenas, and educational opportunities to each other.
While the promise of METRO is under attack by reactionary anti-transit individuals upset by the proposed extensions into south Phoenix (my take: Build the damn train!), it’s a system that has transformed our city and tried to make us somewhat relevant in the global city-driven economy.
To mark METRO’s 10th anniversary, here are some photos I’ve unearthed from the archives of the opening day festivities. Phoenicians will also recall that it was also on this day that the new North Building of the Phoenix Convention Center was also opened to the public.
I’m sure that it will be aesthetically pleasing. And that the graphics will be great. But one of the best features of Google Maps — and the big reason why I use it — is that Google Maps offers transit directions. You see, I don’t have a car. The option for me to get reliable directions to get from Point A to Point B via transit, as in the screen capture on the right, is absolutely mission-critical.
The other problem, at least for Phoenix, is that Valley Metro is very protective of their transit schedules. It took several years after Google Transit’s launch before one could plan transit trips here in Phoenix. If there is a transit feature in Apple’s new maps, what data will be there? I highly doubt that Phoenix’s will be there at launch.
Thankfully, we can still access Google Maps via the browser. But a native app was so much better. Ah, there’s something to be said about restricting an ecosystem.
METRO light rail wants your input on bicycle accessibility and integration on its trains and stations. Take this two-minute survey.
Increasing bike integration with the METRO light rail system will serve to expand the catchment areas in the first and last miles of travel. This will help to accommodate the growing demand of bicyclists and pedestrians, and will effectively grow METRO into a more complete and accessible system.
METRO light rail is looking for your feedback. If your commute involves biking and riding METRO light rail, please take this quick two-minute survey.