RIde the LRT
(Phoenix, Arizona, USA)

Why do they come to want to take a streetcar ?

Logically, they understand that flexibility of a bus at changing or extending a route is higher than a streetcar, and the speed of a streetcar can't match that of a bus in most cities of all over the world as long as it isn't run with exclusive guideway. There are a trolleybus of a overhead wiring type and an environment-friendly electric vehicle. Nevertheless, only a streetcar is always crowded anywhere, and it was the same in Phoenix as an extremely car-oriented society. The streetcar considerably packs with passengers in contrast with empty buses. The clientele seems to be middle class or an intelligent-like people, so the atmosphere is nice.

I think whether inflexibility is the reason. A perfect arrangement is necessary since construction of a streetcar is not easy like a bus, and, if completed, it doesn't withdraw soon. A railway track and a station are more permanent than a bus. Smooth acceleration and deceleration are achieved by high skill. A firm sense of existence that such inflexibility forms might attract people.

Well, in 2008, the streetcar (LRT) inaugurated business in Phoenix. At present, there is only one route from the northwestern part of Phoenix to Mesa CIty in the east part via the downtown.

”Park-and-ride”. In Phoenix, I met this word familiar in the textbook of the city planning. It means a style that they go from home to a station by car, park the car on a parking lot around a station and ride on a train to go to office. The style that had arisen a long time ago in the United States as a car-oriented society had been succeeded in Phoenix of the 21st century.

A big LRT station in suburbs has a transit bus terminal neighboring to the station and a vast parking lot beyond a bus station. Even if a rest room was not dirty but a little inconvenient since the handbill has been scattered, neither a transit terminal nor a parking lot had an dangerous air because of the spacious and good visibility. A user can park a car for free until the midnight when the last train arrives and the gate is shut out. The vastness and free of charge are important. In "Park-and-ride" in Japan, a parking lot is small and charged and requires registration. So the effect is insufficient.

In Phoenix, LRT and a transit bus accept bicycle loading, so "Bike and Ride (Cycle and Ride)" has been achieved. Incidentally, the system that a wife drives to take her husband to a station is called as "Kiss and Ride", and, perhaps, it is also called as "Kiss and Ride" that a husband drives for her wife.

To Phoenix that is neither East Coast nor West Coast in the United States where they had passed a life style which load to the environment is the largest in the world, a trend that considers with environment has reached steadily.

The stations also reflect the change. Big trees is planted on a platform in place of the roof of a bench. A huge green wall covered with vine plant stands up like a sign that distinguishes a station from a distance.

The elements, such as the roof of a station with wave crest form, sign, bench and streamlined vehicle, which Japanese maker, the Kinki Sharyo Railroad Cars Co. Ltd., manufactured, are designed with high sensitivity and deliver the message that consideration with environment is cool.

Well, finishing off the streetcar round is the LRT dog as a special product of Sycamore station (even if no one says that at present). To tell the truth, it was an ordinary hotdog. If I advice in order to make it an authentic special product suitable for environment-friendly LRT, it should be produced with wheat without gene manipulation. Then, a sausage made of pork bred by organic fodder and a vegetable salad of organic farming should be pack in the container with motif of a streamlined body. After that, don't forget to use an electric stove that doesn't generate carbon dioxide.

To Japanese Version

Google Maps

Along LRT - Metro Valley in Phoenix.

LRT - Valley Metro

City of Phoenix
Visit Phoenix

Aloft Tempe
Arizona Biltmore Hotel
Camelback Inn
Hermosa Inn
Hotel San Carlos
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch
Royal Palms Resort and Spa
The Canyon Suites at The Phoenicia

Americas Best Value Inn-Downtown Phoenix
Days Inn Scottsdale Fashion Square
Motel 6

Maricopa Manor B & B Inn


2018.01 Photos and text in English version and Japanese version


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LRT - Valley Metro (2008) 

Photo by Daigo Ishii