Top stop: Sycamore/Main Street station - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Top stop: Sycamore/Main Street station

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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2009 7:45 pm | Updated: 3:11 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Congratulations, light-rail riders of the East Valley, for making the Sycamore/Main Street station the system's most popular stop.

Metro has released its count of passenger boardings, broken down by stations, during the second quarter of 2009, and Mesa's lone platform again tops the list.

Getting There blog

Mesa station most popular on light-rail line

During April, May and June, 207,483 people got on trains at the Sycamore station; that's about 5,000 more than the count recorded at the line's other terminus: the Montebello/19th Avenue station in west-central Phoenix.

Of course, it would make sense the end stations would receive the most traffic. The tallies at the 26 stops in between, though, tell much about where we're going.

The most popular non-terminus station was the separate-but-together stop (called a "couplet") of 3rd/Washington and 3rd/Jefferson. These are the platforms closest to Chase Field, and with the Arizona Diamondbacks' season starting in April (plus a home game-heavy schedule early on), it's not surprising this was third by a wide margin.

Placing fourth, sixth and seventh were three stations in downtown Phoenix: respectively, Van Buren/1st and Van Buren/Central; Roosevelt/Central; and Jefferson/1st and Washington/Central.

At fifth was the stop closest to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: 44th/Washington. By the way, work has started in earnest there on the PHX Sky Train, the automated people mover that will take passengers and airport employees between the light-rail stop and the terminals. Target date for the first phase's opening is late 2012.

Rounding out the top 10 were the three Tempe stations nearest Arizona State University: University/Rural; Mill/3rd; and Veterans Way/College.

The two least-popular stations changed slots from the first quarter to the second.

Bringing up the rear now is the Center Parkway/Washington stop in Tempe, which serves little more than the Marquee Theater and the First Solar office building. Total traffic there in those three months was less than 16,000 - about 7 percent of the Sycamore station's boardings.

In second-to-last place is a puzzler to Metro: 38th/Washington, which is directly in front of Gateway Community College. Despite a pool of students, faculty and staff to draw from, this transit option just doesn't seem to be grabbing people like it is at ASU.

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