Phoenix, meet light rail

All aboard! One way or another

Beginning today Metro light rail will be running the majority of its line across the Valley.

With Phoenix drivers and pedestrians unaccustomed to the new mode of travel, concerns regarding accidents, based on the experiences of other cities, should not to be taken lightly.

Rail safety has been a focal point wherever the transportation mode has been put into use. Houston had 62 crashes in its first two years, injuring 110 and killing one. Due to the numerous collisions, it quickly became known as the ” Wham Bam Tram, ” according to a report in the daily.

For example, in its initial year of operation in 1994, Denver experienced 4.4 accidents for each mile of track. Those numbers have since tapered off.

In 2006, WABC in New Jersey reported thirteen people were injured when a light rail train and a transit bus collided.

San Francisco recently experienced a collision which sent several people to the hospital.

Santa Clara County light rail system in San Jose, California has issued an estimated cost study of light rail collision accidents

This is a list of rail transit systems in the U.S. that are currently active or under construction, as of January 2007.

Light rail officially launches on December 27.  Officials estimate the trains will have 26,000 riders a day on the 20-mile starter route.

Drive and walk with care, Phoenicians.

10 Responses to Phoenix, meet light rail

  1. Gary says:

    Why do I have this nagging doubt that this will be a widely accepted means of transportation? It travels at the breakneck speed of less than 25 miles an hour. This makes the average commute twice as long as conventional driving.

  2. Scott says:

    Maybe you’re having doubts about this monstrosity because you’re using your head.
    If you drive downtown as I do each day, you have seen the damage this has caused to our beautiful city. In addition, we are losing much needed traffic lanes to accomodate this foolhearty venture. What a guy that Phil Gordon is!
    I wish he’d go back to Shycagoh.

  3. RA says:

    I don’t believe this will prove to have been worth the cost of killing Central corridor and Camelback retail and services businesses. Beyond a doubt light rail helped to dig the bankruptcy pit the city is now in. Is it the proverbial straw that broke Camelback? The only bright spot in all this is Mr. Phil can understand what this means now.

  4. BOB HARAN says:

    It’s not the safety of the trolley that concerns me, it’s the incredible waste of money and rip off of the taxpayer to build a light rail system that will only replace a few bus routs. You know that some people got very, very rich off this light rail scam at the people expense. Shame on all who supported this fiasco.


  5. Kathy says:

    Wonder when Philly starts complaining that not enough people are using Lite Rail? Heck – they already want more of our money to supplement this fiasco.

  6. Steve says:

    If it starts far enough south and goes far enough north it will be a means of transportation for housecleaning crews. What a thoughtful thing for the mayor to provide.

  7. RA says:


    Japan’s Shinkansen

    – A triumph of nationalist achievement.
    – Literally means “new trunk line,” which refers to the tracks the train runs on.
    – Internationally popularly known as the “bullet train” after an earlier conceptualization.
    – Trains have run at speeds from 130-188 mph in an environment subject to extreme weather and geologic events, and more recently mag-lev shinkansen trains have run over 360 mph.
    – Is administered by four Japan Railways Group companies.
    – First lines initially built in the 1960s, heralded as a feat of Japanese engineering.
    – One line alone (the Tokaido Shinkansen) serves around 375,000 (mostly Japanese) passengers daily.

    Phoenix’s “Sink Us Yen”

    – A triumph of globalization.
    – Literally means “bankrupting this state” which refers to the funding method employed by the politicians who engineered its approval by tying it to a state employee raise.
    – Internationally unknown, but locally known as “a joke.”
    – Trains are rated for a maximum speed of about 55 mph, and will typically travel between 17-25 mph. Or less. This is in an environment subject to extreme heat, which these trains will not be able to outpace.
    – A feat of cast-off Japanese engineering that lags substantially behind a Japanese rail transit concept of the 1930s and its initial realization in the early 1960s.
    – Administered primarily by a French company with whom the City of Phoenix enjoys a special “no competing bid” relationship.
    – Will primarily serve several dozen illegal immigrants.

  8. Richard Doyle says:

    Who voted for a slow train down the middle of Main Street? Sounds like a loser to all except for the dude that sold it to us.

  9. Jeanne says:

    And on top of it all, the landmark palm trees are gone. When a whole lane of traffic is removed, there is no room for esthetics.

  10. […] executive who was Phoenix’s deputy city manager for transportation when the Metro line of light rail was planned. He says he is familiar with the complaints. “People say: ‘I live in […]