Light rail efforts in the Valley have had their share of skeptics, Mesa’s Transit Services Director Jodi Sorrell said.
During construction of the initial 20 miles of light rail, “there was some skepticism about the success of light rail in a growing city in the Southwest,” she said.
But, six and half years later, ridership projections have been exceeded and the line is considered a success, she said.
The level of economic development along the rail line in Phoenix has proven impressive, Sorrell said.
A couple of months before the first extension of Valley Metro Rail actually is set to open in downtown Mesa, there’s evidence of successful redevelopment there, too, Sorrell said.
“We have proven it can be a successful venture,” she said.
Light rail is not just a transit option for the Valley, but also an economic development tool, Sorrell and Corinne Holliday, public information specialist for Valley Metro, said.
Years ago when planning for the downtown Mesa stretch of light rail began, there were plenty of downtown merchants who were not