Report from Middle America: Riding and Drinking Along Phoenix’s New Rail
In December 2008, Phoenix, Arizona opened the first 20 miles of its new light rail system, a first for the largely car-dependent city. Stretching from Central Phoenix through the neighboring cities of Tempe and Mesa, the rail provides alternate transportation while encouraging the development of the cities’ downtowns. Over 30,000 riders took to the rails the first month, exceeding expectations.
Though the system was mainly built to serve commuters, people have also used it to get to sporting events, gallery openings and Arizona State University. After learning the ropes of navigating the new system, the next logical question for many riders was, “Where’s the nearest bar?” Thankfully, helpful fellow citizens have already put together maps and suggested bar crawls along the route, such as at lightrailbeer.com. The light rail system will continue to expand throughout the Valley of the Sun, with a completion date of 2025.