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Valley Metro serves more than 200,000 riders during Final Four weekend

(Valley Metro Photo)

PHOENIX– An estimated 200,000 people rode the light rail this weekend for Final Four events and other activities happening in the Valley, according to Valley Metro.

Valley Metro said in a press release that it saw a 68 percent increase in riders over the weekend.

There were various events happening in the Valley, such as the Final Four Fan Fest, March Madness Music Festival, Phoenix Pride, Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day, Tempe Festival of the Arts and more.

This weekend’s ridership for all of the local events ranked as one of the highest ever and is up there in ridership with Super Bowl 49.

“Serving more than 220,000 riders over the weekend for the Final Four events, and numerous local festivities, demonstrates the vibrancy that transit brings to our communities,” Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith said.

Sunday was the busiest day of the weekend on the rails. An estimated 131 percent more riders took the light rail than an average Sunday.

The final day of the March Madness Music Festival, featuring Aerosmith, Macklemore and Blink 182, was Sunday. It reached full capacity less than an hour after opening to the public.

Downtown Phoenix welcomed an estimated 400,000 people, according to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s office.

“If you take not only the number of people but the diversity of events, it was the busiest weekend in downtown Phoenix in our history,” Stanton said. “And it was — and is — awesome.”

Valley Metro deployed 75 rail operators, 45 fare inspectors, 42 customer service representatives, 40 bus operators and several K9 units to work the busy weekend.

“The success of our system and its role in supporting the local economy is a reflection of our dedicated staff and their commitment to providing quality service every day of the year,” Smith said.

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