[Source: Sean Holstege, Arizona Republic] — Metro’s end-of-line stations are light rail’s busiest, the transit agency reported Wednesday in its first detailed glimpse at where most boardings are occurring. The Montebello station in central Phoenix and Mesa’s lone station at Sycamore and Main Street have been the busiest stations on the 20-mile line since light rail debuted in late December. The trends indicate that shoppers have been flocking to the Montebello station while commuters and Arizona State University students and employees rely on the Sycamore station, Metro officials said. The Mesa station’s park-and-ride lot has been twice as full as the Phoenix station’s.
Elsewhere, Phoenix’s Central Station was next busiest, while the station nearest the downtown Phoenix sports venues and those around ASU are near the top of the list. There were some surprises in the data for the system’s 28 stations.
- Metro CEO Rick Simonetta told his board he was disappointed in the station at 38th Street. Although the station lies across the street from GateWay Community College, the station was the slowest on the line, and Simonetta said he wants to talk with college officials to better promote the station.
- The second slowest station, at Center Parkway, was added during construction at the request of Tempe.
- The station at Camelback Road and Central Avenue slipped to 8,500 in March from 17,700 boardings in January, despite being one of the few transit centers and a transfer point for seven local bus lines.
- On the other hand, Roosevelt Station saw a 250 percent increase between January and March and shot up to the fifth busiest from the 20th busiest station. Metro spokeswoman Hillary Foose credited cultural events such as First Fridays and the downtown farmers market.
- The airport station at 44th Street has consistently been among the busiest, and use of the free airport shuttle bus has been much heavier than expected.
“People can’t park their cars at the stations, so they are being inventive,” Foose said. “It shows people are being inventive in how they think about getting around.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]