Riding light rail should be a great way to get to some fun places this evening. My choice, is hanging out in Tempe for the “First Light Rail New Year’s Eve” although I might try to hit the ultra exclusive Team Reynolds-Fruscetta party for a bit. Sorry if you didn’t get the invite to that one but it is sure to be a good time. Thanks to my friend Dean Ouellette, I’ll be hitting the Insight Bowl this afternoon. After that, grab some grub and get ready for the big Mill Avenue Fiesta Bowl Block Party to hang out with approximately 100,000 of our closest friends.
Anyone traveling by light rail this evening might want to keep a few things in mind.
Parking: If you don’t live along the line but will be taking advantage of the free parking at one of the eight park and ride lot’s, you might want to avoid the ends of the line as they have tended to get *really* busy this week.
Safety: By now, you have probably heard about yesterday’s “first” light rail accident since the grand opening. The Republic reports that “According to police, a Honda crossed the tracks near First Avenue and Jefferson Street and hit the train.” Thankfully, there appears to have been no injuries. But, it does go a long way in reminding people to be safe near light rail. (the “first light rail accident” actually happened before grand opening) Being safe near light rail can be as simple as paying attention to the new signs and using common sense.
Crowds: The response to the “free light rail rides” has been much more than I expected. Of course, everyone thought the weekend would be busy but I kind of thought the demand would subside during the week. Turns out that a LOT of people want to give it a try. If you are planning a trip to downtown Phoenix or to Tempe today or tonight, don’t think that you will be by yourself. In fact, don’t necessarily assume you will not be packed in like a sardine.
Light Rail Hours of operation: I understand that METRO will stay open late to support New Year’s Eve patrons offering the last full trip, across all 20 miles, at 2 a.m. from either end. This should mean that trains run in some areas until approximately 3 a.m.
Remember: Thursday, January 1st, 2009 Metro will begin charging normal fares for light rail and bus rides and will resume the normal schedule of Regular service hours beginning at 4 a.m. – midnight with the first full trip, across all 20 miles, occurring at 4:40 a.m. and the last full trip at 11 p.m arriving at the end of the line at midnight.
During the week, trains arrive every 10 minutes from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m – all other times, trains arrive every 20 minutes. On weekends and holidays, the first trip of the day is 5 a.m. and ends the same as week days. (midnight) The frequency of trips changes to every 15 minutes between 6 a.m and 7 p.m- all other times, trains arrive every 20 minutes. Metro operates 365 days a year. For special events, trains may operate more frequently and for longer hours.
From RailLife.com, we want to wish you a VERY Happy New Year! When going out tonight, remember that “Your Life Is On The Line!”