Light rail derails business

A flurry of articles this week highlight a downside of light rail. Businesses along the construction route in Phoenix, which is in the midst of its $1.4 billion light rail development, are suffering, losing as much as 60 percent in business over the previous year. Now, any type of infrastructure improvement is likely to cause hardship to business- and homeowners in the area. So it’s unfair to single out light rail as a particular culprit in this respect. Nonetheless, especially given all of the problems with light rail – low ridership, delays in construction, and ballooning budgets – detailed by the Reason Foundation in the past, it’s important to note the cost to area business of light rail construction.