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Light rail officials want to encourage ridership, not ticket checking

The Super Bowl helped to significantly increased the amount of people riding the Valley Metro Light Rail, but that doesn’t mean everyone is paying.

A whopping 14 million people rode the light rail last year, Fox 10 reports, but many people skip out on buying a ticket.

City transit officials admit only 20 percent of riders are checked per day. They say it’s because they would rather encourage ridership than turn people away.

Valley Metro Light Rail operates on the honor system. It’s called “Proof of Payment.” Most cities use it. No turnstiles, gates or ticket booths. You simply buy your ticket at a kiosk and you’re good to go.

Valley Metro did hire 38 private security guards in 2013 to help catch those that skip out on payment. Fines for not paying can range from $50 to $500.

Valley Metro also collects $0.69 in taxes on every rider.