Metro's hours of service has been a pretty big topic of discussion around here, in the news papers and on line. Back in March, we were told that Metro would have a simple schedule, running until 1 am. The latest light rail schedule that we have available came to us from Metro's site which says the trains will operate until midnight. Last week, the New Times ran an article asking people to voice their opinion of running past midnight. I also picked up some of the conversations on Twitter and found that most people over there thought midnight is too early to quit service. Budget restraints appear to be the biggest determining factor in deciding the hours but recently, some other options have been made more public. You may remember several weeks ago when I mentioned rumblings of the rail cars being "wrapped" with advertisements. Apparently, the idea of companies helping to foot the bill for extended hours of operation could come in the form of advertising dollars. Some other ideas were mentioned at this weeks "Valley Forward" lunch where a handful of politicians and a bunch of transportation advocates got to hear the latest public news straight from the horses mouths before boarding a train and taking a test drive. While advertising was once said to be unavailable to business owners, it sounds like that tune might be changing. Obviously, there will be special occasions when the hours will need to be extended (New Years, 2009 All Star Game etc?) but with limited funds available, the cash for permanent changes to the hours needs to come from somewhere. In this short video, you can hear what Phoenix city councilman Tom Simplot has to say about ad revenue and extending the hours of operation.
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