Downtown Voices statement on Phoenix light rail evening hours

At a recent Mayor’s breakfast meeting, the scheduled times of operation of light rail were announced.  The trains, as it was reported at this meeting, will shut down between 12 midnight and 4:45 a.m. except for “special events.”

If downtown Phoenix is ever going to become what its proponents have stressed it should be, a “24/7 vibrant downtown” then not having light rail run 24 hours a day is a detriment to achieving this goal.  The reasons are many:

  • Closing time for nightlife and entertainment is generally 2 a.m., with many other locations doing “after-hours” past the traditional bar closing times.
  • Restaurant and bar workers don’t finish at midnight, and they are the ones who would use late-night public transportation.
  • Taking people who stay out late night and use light rail as their “designated driver” would reduce DUI arrests and accidents caused by impaired drivers.
  • It is the measure of a city’s vitality and growth when it recognizes that a true “24/7” downtown doesn’t close at 12 midnight.

This doesn’t mean the train needs to run every 20 minutes.  If trains could just run a once an hour schedule, riders would at least know there is a way with some patience to avoid driving.  

Funding could be partnered with many different entities, including the hospitality and beverage industry and various anti-DUI organizations.

Downtown Voices Coalition, by a unanimous vote of its steering committee, asks the Mayor, City Council, and interested parties to find a solution for running light rail on a 24 hour schedule.

Thank you.


Steve Weiss, Chair, Steering Committee, Downtown Voices Coalition

Posted on August 25, 2008, in Downtown Vitality, Downtown Voices Coalition, Employment, Entertainment, Finances, Governance, Sports, Tourism, Transportation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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