What is Valley Light Rail?

Harriette Halepis

The Valley Light Rail is a type of public transportation system that is located in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. Light rails are unique, since they are generally powered by electricity. Unlike heavy rail systems, light rails are slower, though they are faster than an average tram car. Introducing the Valley Light Rail to the large Phoenix area proved to be an entirely innovative and efficient way to connect commuters with various points throughout this portion of the state.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Large cities, such as Phoenix, that cover a vast amount of widespread land can be a challenge for everyday commuters. While underground public transportation systems work in smaller cities, connecting commuters with all areas of a large city via underground rail is nearly impossible. However, an above-ground light rail makes a lot more sense, since it is cost-effective. Ever since the installation of the Valley Light Rail, Phoenix residents have been able to reach most points within the city via public transportation.

Not only is the Valley Light Rail more efficient, it also helps reduce the amount of environmental damage that a city produces. When city residents begin taking electric powered public transportation to work, cars are left behind. Thus, the general air quality within a large city can be greatly improved with the addition of a light rail system. This is the number one reason why many cities are beginning to turn away from underground expansion in order to focus on above-ground trains.

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Even though the idea of a light rail may seem relatively recent, this type of public transportation system is actually an old invention. The first light rail was invented in 1972. By 1978, many Canadian cities had installed light rail systems. Shortly thereafter, the city of San Francisco purchased light rails. Today, more than thirty cities within the United States have light rails, though Canada does not have as many as it once did. In addition, many cities throughout Europe have adopted light rail systems.

As environmental concerns continue to rise, more and more cities are beginning to take a closer look at the Valley Light Rail system in Phoenix. Thus far, the light rail system proves to be an excellent way for city dwellers to reach all important destination without the use of private automobiles. Train routes are already in existence throughout the globe, which makes creating a light rail system rather easy to do.

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