During the summer months, it seems Arizona residents try desperately to hold onto their sanity as temperatures reach almost 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Stepping out into the scorching weather is something we try to avoid at all costs, but for those who ride the light rail to get to and from places, it's unavoidable. Not only do riders have to walk through the heat to get to the light rail station, but they also have to wait while beads of sweat form on their faces.
Fortunately, something has been done about it. After returning from Dubai, Mayor Phil Gordon had an idea. In Dubai, their Metro has taken some excellent strides in sustainability as well as providing excellent passenger comfort inside the light rail and at all the stations. Upon returning, his idea progressed into a project which received $300,000 in funding from NRG Energy.
This project involved solar energy cooling systems to cool riders while they are waiting for the next train. These coolers will blow cool air into the station, making it up to 40 degrees cooler, with the push of a button. It will operate during the hottest months of the year, May all the way to September.
During the summer months in Arizona, light rail riders will be able to enjoy cool air even though the weather is scorching around them. Typically, the short wait between train boarding seems like it goes on forever when riders are waiting in the heat, but their experience is now going to be made a lot easier with these new solar cooling systems.