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The Metro Light Rail is no doubt an asset to the greater Phoenix community, but with rising gas prices there is also no denying that it is in need of some serious TLC.

The light rail serves as a convenience to many people from all walks of life in the greater Phoenix area. And these walks of life differ dramatically.

As a student on ASU’s Downtown campus, the light rail has come in handy when traveling to the Tempe campus for sporting events, club meetings and other activities, but the ride itself is not always as rewarding.

An average ride on the light rail means surrounding yourself with business professionals from the Phoenix metro area, sports fans that use the park and rides, college students, citizens saving money on gas and unruly people.

According to, Metro’s vision is to be “recognized as a trusted and respected community partner and visionary leader that provides a premier regional rail transit system with a commitment to excellence and safety.”

I have heard many horror stories about the light rail from peers. They range from robberies to drug deals to strange men flaunting curious talents. Being that many college students use the light rail, something ought to be done to make it safe to ride without following the kindergarten buddy system.

Valley Metro lists its values on These include accountability and trust, among others. As a community leader, Valley Metro should have these goals. But unfortunately, these traits are not displayed by everyone.

As of now, it is simple to walk onto the train without paying. This is mainly why the population of potentially dangerous riders is so high. The current system relies on accountability and trust that doesn’t exist.

According to, gas prices have risen to between $3.35 and $4. This could mean more riders on the light rail.

To keep the community safe, a new system should be implemented to repel the traffic of unruly characters. A possible solution would be to not allow passengers on the tarmac without paying first. This would decrease the amount of people who catch a free ride and improve the safety of the train.

Realistically, there is no way to guarantee absolute safety anywhere, especially on public transit. But there is room for improvement. And these improvements are much needed as the cost of other means of transportation rises.

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