It’s that time of year again! Valley Metro’s Polar Express chugged its way to the “North Pole,” traveling between the Mesa Dr/Main St and Country Club/Main St stations. Dozens of trips were carrying children, their families and the young at heart from across the Valley. The smiles on kids’ faces, including my own nephews, made it all worth it. It’s always a great way to experience the light rail, with some holiday cheer thrown in.

For those not familiar, Valley Metro had three light rail train cars that received holiday wraps and decorations courtesy of Bashas’ and Lennar Homes. On the trains, the festive elves danced, sang and roamed the aisles spreading good cheer. The event is always free and does not require a fare, but new this year and to enhance the experience, Polar Express tickets were handed out to passengers in line. Then a “Polar Express” train conductor punched each child’s ticket to the North Pole. 

Child with ticket

Riders also heard and experienced the original Polar Express story while their train chugged its way to Santa at Mesa’s North Pole. Once he boarded, Jolly Old St. Nick greeted the excited children asking, “Were you a good boy or girl, and what do you want for Christmas?” Then, Santa’s helpers handed out Christmas cookies.


Elf handing out Christmas cookies

I have a big sweet tooth, especially around the holidays and unfortunately, cookies were only passed to children. I got to watch my nephews crunch away while leaving crumbs on Aunt Tay Tay’s clothes. I’m on a diet anyway. Regardless, I was able to get my fix after the ride at the hot chocolate table.
The Polar Express is a fabulous way to kick-off the holidays. Don’t worry if you missed it this year. The Polar Express will roll again next year.  From all of us, happy holidays to our valued Valley Metro customers! 


Santa with child
Taylor Dunn
Operations Communications Specialist
Psychology student, musician, and social media manager. Graduated from The King’s College previously located in the Empire State Building. Previously employed with Metro-North Railroad out of Grand Central Terminal and NYC’s Department of Emergency Management. A CrossFit enthusiast who enjoys lattes at hipster coffee shops.