By all definitions, Phoenix is a large city with the benefits and problems that are associated with large towns. The Phoenix metropolitan area, often called Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, was estimated to be home to about 4.5 million residents in 2015, making it the 12th largest metropolitan area in the nation by population, according to the United States Census Department. With all those people, it should not be surprising that transportation and travel is an ongoing issue in the Valley with state and local officials constantly looking for ways to eliminate some of the congestion.
City officials have implemented massive improvements in public transportation in recent decades and now are working on Phoenix Transportation 2050, a comprehensive plan to advance the public transportation scene in Phoenix during a 35 year period ending in 2050. As part of that project, 42 miles of new light rail routes are planned with new light rail stations, an additional 1,000 miles of bicycle lanes will be constructed, the number, availability, and frequency of city buses will increase, and 135 miles of sidewalks will be added to our community. Importantly, there are also plans to add 75 new miles of RAPID routes and advanced technology like Wi-Fi on buses and trains.
You may be one of the thousands who have benefited from the introduction of the light rail, the upgrades to city buses as of late, or even the easier access afforded to public transit users. If that is the case, there is little doubt that you understand the value and impact of these alternative means of travel. But if you do not use public transportation, you may be less inclined to understand fully the impact that public transit has on your life.