Free Rides And Entertainment Mark Metro Phoenix Light Rail Anniversary

By Christina Estes
Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - 5:05am
Updated: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - 9:26am

Light rail train Camelback Rd and 11th Ave
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Light rail along Camelback Road near 11th Avenue in Phoenix.

Valley Metro is celebrating 10 years of light rail  by offering free rides Thursday. Live music, entertainment and a family fun zone will take place between 5 and 10 p.m. at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, Plaza & Pavilion at 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. The nearest train stations are 3rd Street/Jefferson and 3rd Street/Washington.

When the trains started running a decade ago, the track stretched 20 miles from central Phoenix to Mesa. Today, light rail runs 26 miles from 19th Avenue and Dunlap in Phoenix through downtown Mesa.

More extensions are underway, at least one has been postponed, and another — going into south Phoenix — is facing public criticism. A group of Phoenix residents and business owners gathered signatures to put light rail back on the ballot. They think it’s too expensive, hurts businesses and attracts transients and crime.

Valley Metro says light rail has brought $11 billion in public and private investment and helped create 35,000 jobs within a half mile of the corridor.

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