I’ve gotten a little frustrated about the frivolous arguments regarding the light rail in Phoenix, so here is some data about the light rail usage, comparison to other metro areas, and car purchase data.
Total light rail boardings in 2014 were 14,286,093. Total boardings in 2018 were 16,511,814, which is an increase of 2,225,721. During this same time period 280,000 people moved into Maricopa County, and the average household owns 1.5 cars, so that means 420,000 cars on the roads.
Conclusion: Since Maricopa County consists of 9200 square miles it’s not feasible to spend 40% of the budget on a light rail that will take 40 years to reach the growing suburbs of the metro area. We have seen rapid growth in areas like Queen Creek and Goodyear which never benefit from the light rail. Although we have seen an increase in annual number of boardings, when compared to the number of times you get in your car each year(420,000 new cars from 2014-2018 x 3 times getting in car each day = 1,260,000 new “car” boardings), this number becomes trivial. Our population density is 4 times smaller than that of Los Angeles County. Thus the light rail is inefficient, irrelevant and a giant waste of money.
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