In its inaugural year, the Tempe Streetcar has not only surpassed ridership expectations but has also laid the groundwork for future expansion. This 3-mile streetcar route has swiftly become a preferred mode of transportation through Tempe’s busiest areas, presenting a compelling case for extending its reach into Mesa.
The streetcar’s successful launch is the culmination of over a decade of planning and development. Tempe’s sustainability and resilience director, Eric Iwersen, explains that the city’s landlocked nature prompted the need for high-capacity public transit. The city first implemented an extensive bus system, followed by light rail, and the streetcar serves as the next phase in this growth trajectory.
Since its opening in May 2022, the streetcar has catered to over 800,000 passengers, far surpassing the initial goal of 330,000 riders set by Valley Metro and Tempe. Operating as a hybrid between a light rail and a bus, the streetcar’s design resembles a small light rail car but offers more frequent stops and a slower pace.
The integration between the streetcar and the light rail has demonstrated the efficacy of a regional transportation system. Valley Metro capital planning manager Marty Ziech emphasizes the connectivity between different modes of transit, showcasing the streetcar’s role in the larger transportation network of metro Phoenix.
Looking ahead, Tempe and neighboring Mesa have allocated funds for a study to explore an extension of the streetcar route. This proposed expansion would journey east on Rio Salado Parkway, passing prominent locations like Tempe Marketplace and Sloan Park, before heading south on Dobson Road, linking to the Mesa Asian District and a light rail stop on Main Street.
While challenges exist, such as recent legislation limiting future rail funding, proponents of the project remain optimistic. Funding avenues include the possibility of reallocating existing transportation funds, leveraging federal transit money from the bipartisan infrastructure law, and seeking creative solutions to finance the streetcar’s future.
For now, the streetcar continues to operate fare-free, providing accessible transportation to all. Once fares are implemented, riders can expect to pay approximately $1, presenting an affordable option for convenient travel within Tempe.
The Tempe Streetcar had a successful first year, highlighting its potential to improve connectivity and growth in the region.As plans for expansion take shape, the streetcar stands poised to transform transportation in Tempe and beyond.
Source: Valley Metro, City of Tempe, Axios
Valley Metro: https://www.valleymetro.org/
Tempe Streetcar exceeded expectations in first year (Jessica Boehm) https://www.axios.com/local/phoenix/2023/09/18/tempe-streetcar-free-extension-cost-ridership
STM Daily News/Urbanism: https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/
International Day of Non-Violence: Embracing Gandhi’s Legacy
International Day of Non-Violence: Embracing Gandhi’s legacy, promoting peace and non-violent action worldwide. #NonViolenceDay
Today, on the International Day of Non-Violence, we commemorate the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, a man whose teachings have left an indelible mark on the world. Gandhi’s unwavering commitment to peace and justice continues to inspire millions to this day. His philosophy of non-violence, or “ahimsa,” showed the world that there are just means to achieve just ends.
To honor this day, we can reflect on Gandhi’s wisdom and learn from his life. Familiarize yourself with his teachings and seek inspiration from his quotes, reminding us that violence only begets more violence.
Participating in events organized by the United Nations or local communities is another way to honor this day. These gatherings provide opportunities to celebrate Gandhi’s life and principles while fostering a sense of unity and non-violent action.
Alternatively, engage in a random act of kindness. Let Gandhi’s spirit guide you to make someone’s day brighter, whether through a small gesture or a selfless act. By embodying kindness and compassion, we can contribute to a world that echoes the change we wish to see.
On this International Day of Non-Violence, let us remember Gandhi’s profound impact and strive to cultivate a culture of peace, empathy, and understanding. Together, we can create a world where non-violence is the catalyst for positive change.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Taking Action
Make a difference during Breast Cancer Awareness Month by taking action, supporting early detection, and accessing resources.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) is a significant time when pink ribbons symbolize the fight against breast cancer. However, it’s crucial to understand that awareness alone is not enough. This October, let’s go beyond awareness and take action.
A breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, which is why initiatives like the NBCF Patient Navigation Program exist—to ensure that no one battles breast cancer alone. Early detection is key to successful outcomes, but many people may not know what signs and symptoms to look for. Thankfully, resources like NBCF’s “Most Asked Questions: Breast Cancer Signs & Symptoms” provide answers and guidance.
We can all make a difference during BCAM. Use your voice, passion, and financial support to ensure that every woman has access to critical screening, support, and care. By getting involved, getting screened, making a donation, or taking action, you can directly impact the lives of those affected by breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month extends beyond awareness campaigns. In the United States, organizations like the National Football League incorporate pink into their activities, and even comic strip artists dedicate a day in October to raise awareness. Additionally, various walks and events raise funds for breast cancer programs, such as the iconic Race for the Cure, which began in October 1983.
Let’s make Breast Cancer Awareness Month a time of action, support, and empowerment. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that everyone facing breast cancer receives the care and resources they deserve.
If you would like to donate to BCAM or get more information, please follow this link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_Cancer_Awareness_Month
United States Space Force: Protecting America’s Interests in Space
“Learn about the United States Space Force: its formation, purpose, and role in protecting national security and space assets.”
The United States Space Force (USSF) is the newest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, established to protect American interests in space. It was formed on December 20, 2019, when President Donald Trump signed the United States Space Force Act, making it the first new independent military service in over 70 years.
While the concept of a Space Force had been discussed since the 1950s, the need for a dedicated space-focused military branch became increasingly evident with the growing importance of space in national security and defense. The USSF operates under the Department of the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps operates under the Department of the Navy. It is led by the Secretary of the Air Force and its military heads are the Chief of Space Operations and the Vice Chief of Space Operations.
The Space Force’s primary purpose is to ensure the freedom of operation in space and protect U.S. space assets. It is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping space forces, which are then deployed to the unified combatant commands, particularly the United States Space Command. The Space Force operates various programs and systems, including GPS, the Space Fence, military satellite communications constellations, X-37B spaceplanes, the U.S. missile warning system, the U.S. space surveillance network, and the Satellite Control Network.
The USSF’s formation marked a significant recognition of the critical role space plays in national security, communication, and technological advancement. As the world becomes increasingly reliant on space-based assets for navigation, communication, and intelligence gathering, the Space Force aims to protect these capabilities, deter aggression, and maintain superiority in space.
By establishing the Space Force, the United States has demonstrated its commitment to safeguarding its interests in space and maintaining its position as a global leader in space capabilities. As technology continues to advance and more nations venture into space, the United States Space Force will play a vital role in ensuring the security and resilience of American assets in this final frontier. Kindly click on the link for further details: https://www.spaceforce.mil/
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