No Plans to Reopen Light Rails


Because of the pandemic, the lunch line at Light Rails cafe shut down in March, 2020, and the school has no plans to reopen it, even as COVID-related precautions and protocols have largely subsided, reducing options for students in crowded lunches. 

“I always have to be ready a minute before the bell rings to arrive at the cafeteria on time to avoid ending at the back of the line,” senior Ella Utterback said. “I don’t want to be left with only a few minutes to eat due to lines being too long, I think having Light Rails open would decrease the wait.”

The deli provided a variety of meals: paninis, salads, grilled cheese and frappes, which were only some of the treats offered for purchase to students. 

“The grilled cheese was my favorite to get,” Utterback said. “I’d definitely go back for it.”

Initially, the school closed Light Rails because of COVID. With a few students going to class in person, Light Rails experienced a decline in participation (the amount of students served each day). This continues in 2022, the cafeteria is currently only feeding about 1190 out of the 2,527 students, US News and World Report stated.

“I would love for Light Rails to open back up,” cafeteria manager Rosie Hart said. “However, three staff members are needed to run the deli: a cook, cashier and someone to hand out the food.”

Because the district charges students $3.75 for lunch, senior Cori Roberson said she would rather eat from the Light Rails because it’s better.

“If Light Rails returned I would most definitely buy it again,” she said. “Freshman year it was very popular and many people besides me enjoyed the food they offered.”

According to Hart, the participation rate would have to be around 1,400 for Light Rails to be reopened.

“We don’t have the appropriate numbers to justify Light Rails opening again,” she said. “We’re trying to move students from one line to another to speed things up and maybe that can get our participation up.”