December 27, 2008 marked the METRO Grand Opening Celebration with 90,000 people visiting several parties along its 20-mile route. Southwest Institute of Healing Arts had the opportunity to be a part of the Dorsey and Apache Blvd party. We were there as thousands of eager travelers set off on their own adventures across Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix. Many stopped by to investigate the local businesses along the route. It was exciting to speak with them and introduce SWIHA to those that were unaware of the fabulous services we offer.
The greatest part of the day was watching so many people find joy in riding our new Light Rail and sharing their stories. The METRO has been a long time coming for many individuals who rely on public transportation or choose not to drive a car for environmental benefits. It even sparked the interest of those that are now choosing to park and ride.
The METRO gives us access to all the culture you can imagine without the need to drive into downtown Phoenix. For only $2.50 per day, simply buy a voucher at any station along its route using the convenient new voucher vending machines. Then hop on the next Light Rail train. It will take you to concert halls, museums, art centers, restaurants, the theater…and the list goes on. Visitors can stay at any number of hotels and not have to rent a car. The savings are incredible.
It is clear that a new wave of excitement abounds throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan area with the birth of the new METRO Light Rail. This shining beauty has launched us into the New Year with more opportunities to see Phoenix and its surrounding areas from a new vantage point. With artwork decorating the stations, and the chance to experience our diverse culture, imagine the adventures! That’s just what Matt Pierce, Facilities Manager at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, thinks every time he steps onto the METRO.
"I've been on the Light Rail several times and the experience is always original and unique. There are all shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds ... you get the picture, people the world over. The laughter is catchy, and the amusements are endless. Look one way and you see couples in love, showing their affection, in another instant there is laugher that demands to be experienced. As you cross over the bridge at Tempe Town Lake, the children emit cries of pure glee as though they, themselves, were walking on water.
My personal favorite part is when the train is packed and the Engineer begins the first movement out of the station. A quick jolt forward creates the People Wave. Those standing sway from the force of forward thrust. It is a sight to be seen and experienced. There is the slightest amount of indirect contact that goes on during this event, and the laughter, once again, fills the air. I would like to think that God is fully present in places such as these. Diversity and Equality are definitely present. No matter what color, status, ideals, or judgments, the world moves forward on the People Wave."
Since the New Year began, the METRO has been buzzing with people discovering new places to go and things to see. Our locals are learning how easy and fascinating it is to commute around the Valley on this new transportation train. The METRO is in full service shuffling people near and far, and it has proven to be a blessing to so many.