If you're a regular light rail rider, you undoubtedly noticed last week and over the past weekend, that trains were a bit more packed than usual. During a recent trip to downtown Phoenix, dozens of people boarded the train, all with suitcases, backpacks and nametags dangling on lanyards declaring "Love Never Fails." An estimated 40,000 Jehovah's Witnesses came to Phoenix to take part in a three-day convention at Chase Field, August 9-11 and many of them chose light rail as a way to easily get from their hotels or the airport to downtown.
The out-of-town visitors kept Valley Metro's Customer Experience Coordinators busy.
"We had a lot of fun meeting the passengers at the 44th St/Washington station," said Dave, Valley Metro Customer Experience Coordinator. "They're came from all over the world and they were in such a happy and friendly mood."
Dave remarked that the first impression convention attendees have about Phoenix is almost always about the heat.
Customer Experience Coordinator, Christina, said it was interesting seeing so many people from different countries. "They've brought a sense of peace, a light," she said. "Phoenix needs this."
She added that many of the people she met said they intended to stay in Arizona for a few extra days to head up north to see the Grand Canyon.
Prior to their arrival, Dave remarked that he and his fellow Customer Experience Coordinators expected to meet thousands of people during the three-day convention. He stated that while their interactions may be limited to just a quick greeting, he hoped that they depart from Phoenix talking about light rail and the friendliness of the people along the way.