On Saturday, August 22nd, the newest extension to the Valley Metro Light Rail will open, extending into downtown Mesa at Mesa Drive. Celebrations are planned for the morning of August 22nd- a full 7 months ahead of schedule! But what does the Mesa light rail extension mean for you? A wide array of new places and activities you can reach via public transportation as well as new neighborhood development.
Traveling the Mesa Light Rail To and Fro
According to the East Valley Tribune, “The central Mesa extension runs from the current end of the line at Sycamore Drive to Mesa Drive with stops at Alma School Road, Country Club Drive, Center Street and Mesa Drive. A park and ride lot is at the northeast corner of the Mesa Drive stop.” Its expected to add another 5,000 daily riders to the current ridership, which averages about 44,000 riders per day.
Downtown Happenings: Living in Mesa AZ
In the past few years, the city of Mesa has expanded its efforts to foster a culture of arts and entertainment. Mesa has taken to holding Second Fridays between Center and Country Club on Main Street on (you guessed it) the second Friday of every month. Second Fridays are very similar to First Fridays in downtown Phoenix, featuring local artists, music, and movies, but each Second Friday has a theme (such as Greek mythology, comic books, or Disney).
Things to Do in Mesa AZ
- Mesa Arts Center:
- Gotham City Comics and Coffee
- Asylum Records
- Arizona Museum of Natural History
- Mesa Amphitheatre
Venturing out of Mesa
Mesa residents will now enjoy light rail service to several hot spots in the valley including Arizona State University, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, and downtown Phoenix. Sports and concert enthusiasts will now have direct access to Chase Field and U.S. Airways Center, bypassing the now $20 fee for parking during the events. Bar hoppers and club goers can also now safely enjoy a night out on the town without having to worry about transportation, as on Saturday night service hours are extended (the last full trip begins at 2 a.m., arriving at the opposite end of the line at 3 a.m. Sunday morning).
“In order to function as economic engines, urban regions have to provide transportation options to its workforce beyond just building more roads for cars.”
Doug MacEachern, columnist | azcentral.com
The light rail in the Valley of the Sun has been a magnet for growth and opportunity everywhere it has been built. Mesa residents will now be able to enjoy the conveniences and prosperity that the light rail has to offer. New business and entertainment options are sure to spark some life into one of the Valley’s oldest and most historic communities.