And so you cross the tracks to the side that will take you back to your car, which you've left parked at a restaurant on Lynwood Street. While you wait for the southbound light-rail car, you perspire. A lot. You remember reading about the time and effort put into designing the train stations to make them as comfortable as possible, with solar-reflective paints and seats that are resistant to heat absorption. But this is the desert; only the surface of the sun (and, occasionally, Blythe) is hotter in July. And you know about the recent service cuts made to light rail, which takes 75 percent of its funding from sales tax revenue, and how the lousy economy has caused light rail to trim its peak service hours and its every-10-minutes pickup times to every 12 minutes. Suddenly, in this heat, those extra two minutes matter.

Todd Grossman

And it suddenly occurs to you that you're outside in Phoenix in July, which is something that Phoenicians rarely do willingly. And you understand why there are so few businesspeople using light rail to get to work: We are desert rats. If we arrived here from some other, more temperate place, we long ago got out of the habit of getting anywhere by any method other than our nicely air-conditioned automobiles. We don't run around in three-digit temperatures in our business suits, grabbing public transportation at stations that are blocks (or even miles) from our destination. And you wonder: Will we learn to use light rail seasonally, like air-conditioning and windshield screens? Or is it too late for us to change? Will we remain a city full of people who admire light rail as it crawls past us in traffic, waiting for it to wow us with something bigger than a 20-mile, up-and-around path through select parts of town?

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7 comments
Tylerdurdentwin
Tylerdurdentwin

heaven forbid sitting across from a brown man! And people wonder why i think Arizona is full of racist uppity bigots. As a Caucasian male your thoughts and views offend me and you are everything that is wrong with this country. If you cant be a man and stand the heat move to Alabama you'll have tons of neighbors to talk about judging people by their skin color with.

Prime
Prime

I ride the rail 4 to 5 times a week and this article is so incorrect its a shame and a sham. FAIL!

PhxDowntowner
PhxDowntowner

A tainted, uneducated, and short-sighted op ed piece. full of whining and no useful, well-researched information. I think the fact that the ridership is far-exceeding the forecasts would be something that would at least get a mention even if the author doesn't have the mental flexibility to formulate what that means for the Valley's present and future.

Unfortunately standard 'New Times' fare.

tdhurst
tdhurst

I want to love the light rail, but I can't quite bring myself to do so yet.

Hopefully the availability of mass transit brings more development along the line, especially between Phoenix and Tempe.

Goldstar4robotboy
Goldstar4robotboy

You gonna mention anything about the working poor using light rail, or this this an essay written solely for the well-off?

Joeblow
Joeblow

That was an odd, strangely whiny article..

Dbfields
Dbfields

Thanks for all the subjective views. How giving any facts, like how many riders actually use the Light Rail every day and how much less traffic is on the roads because of it?

 
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