[Source: Benjamin Leatherman, Phoenix New Times] — Downtown Phoenix activists and entertainment business people urged the city of Phoenix this morning to keep the soon-to-be-launched light-rail system running until 2 a.m. on weekends. As was reported last night, the Phoenix City Council’s Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee is considering extending light-rail service (which begins in late December) until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as during special events — like next year’s NBA All-Star Game at U.S. Airways Center. Currently, the light rail’s scheduled to operate daily from 4 a.m. until midnight only.
Richard Simonetta, CEO of Valley Metro Rail, told the subcommittee it would cost $350,000 annually to run the trains an additional two hours on weekend nights and during special events. He added that the expense would be “spread out” between Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe, the three cities that will be using the light-rail system. Kimber Lanning, owner of downtown’s Stinkweeds Record Exchange and the Modified Arts music venue, was among those lobbying the subcommittee hard to extend the hours on weekends, which advocates say would benefit downtown businesses, especially ones that operate late at night. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]