ARIZONA NEWS

Valley Metro to provide free light rail rides on 10th anniversary

Dec 7, 2018, 4:05 PM | Updated: Dec 26, 2018, 10:04 pm
(Valley Metro/Twitter)...
(Valley Metro/Twitter)
(Valley Metro/Twitter)

PHOENIX — Patrons of the Valley Metro light rail are in for a treat on the transportation system’s 10th anniversary later this month.

Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith announced Thursday that rides would be free all day on its anniversary, Dec. 27.

A special “Railversary” celebration will also take place from 5-10 p.m. at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix.

“The past 10 years of light rail can be defined as overaccomplishment and excitement,” Smith told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday. “We have accomplished more than anyone could have ever expected.

“All of the projections for ridership, for development, for economic activity have been blown away by light rail and it’s not even close. I think people need to recognize that this system is successful.”

Since its opening, there has been $11 billion of investment and 35,000 jobs created within one-half mile of the 26-mile system, according to a Valley Metro Quality of Life impact report.

The system spans three cities — Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa — and runs through notable local destinations like the downtown sports stadiums, Sky Harbor International Airport and Arizona State University.

Earlier this year, the Phoenix City Council voted to move forward with plans to extend the light rail into south central Phoenix.

Last month, Valley Metro announced an app that allows light rail riders to discreetly contact security about non-emergencies.

“We’ll always have challenges and we’ll meet them with accurate information, real data and I’m confident that when the citizens of Phoenix and those throughout the region see the real impact of what the light rail has meant to this community, they’ll continue their support like they have done,” Smith said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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Valley Metro to provide free light rail rides on 10th anniversary