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Super Bowl sets ridership record for Phoenix’s light rail

PHOENIX — Super Bowl weekend welcomed celebrities, athletes and fans alike, all flocking to the greater Phoenix area in hopes of participating in the Super Bowl experience.

The Valley Metro light rail, Phoenix’s intercity public transit system, broke a record by serving 126,000 riders on Jan. 31 — nearly double the amount of the previous record.

The previous record was set Dec. 7, 2013, when 65,800 traveled throughout Phoenix to see Beyoncé or attend an Arizona State University football game.

“Our goal in serving Super Bowl XLIX was to exceed all expectations and provide a high level of service that would help showcase metro Phoenix,” Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta said in the press release. “Valley Metro staff, across all ends of the organization, worked incredibly hard to deliver a positive transit experience that would draw people back to this region and the Valley Metro system.”

In order to accommodate the record crowd, Metro Light Rail extended service for five days, added bus routes to and from various park-and-rides and added more than 200 volunteers from Valley Metro and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

In addition, Valley Metro received nearly $550,000 in additional advertising funds over the Super Bowl weekend, which could be used to add additional amenities to the light rail system.