For an unprecedented third time since its December launch, the Metro Light Rail will be extending its hours to accommodate those patrons of the Tempe Music Festival (April 3rd & 4th) hoping to catch either night's later sets. The Tempe Music Fest now joins New Year's Eve and the NBA All-Star Game festivities as worthy of breaking the 'Nix's strict light rail curfew. It's a gracious move passed down by those in charge at Valley Metro, especially since the light rail passes right by Tempe Beach Park, the site of the festival. The rather strict guidelines for when the last train heads home has drawn plenty of controversy over the light rail's brief 3 month tenure, but this move can be seen as much needed progress. Somewhere, Kid Rock and 3 Doors Down (the last set on both nights) are smiling, but that's probably because they were either once married to Pam Anderson or they have their music sponsored by the National Guard.
I can't fault Valley Metro for reaching out to those dedicated patrons of the light rail who also want to save the environment and not serve 10 days out at Tent City. I, along with the hordes of other young people in the Valley who like to enjoy alcoholic beverages outside the comfort of my living room, wish the light rail were open later, at least until a little closer to last call. Make no mistake: booze will be flowing at the Tempe Music Festival, and a select few may choose to imbibe to excess. It's no suprise -- music just has that effect on some people (as well as beautiful April Arizona weather). It's nice to know the light rail will be running later to accommodate those fans who chose to relax, enjoy some tunes and have a drink or nine. Valley Metro might one day realize the potential for having the light rail run late to accommodate the heavy drinking masses, not only with the extra revenue from fares but from the insane amount of tickets that could be given out to those daring riders who chose to forgo paying the proper fare.
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At any rate, the progress towards backing up the light rail's last train for the night has been noted. Take solace in the fact that Valley Metro does, on occasion, have your back. So go crazy, enjoy Kid Rock and 3 Doors Down without having to worry about transportation for the night.