Ride Light Rail Free If You're Going To U.S. Airways For Concert, Game

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METRO light rail and the Phoenix Suns made a big announcement today: free rides for ticketed customers at U.S. Airways events.

They're calling it "a unique program entitled, 'Rail Ride Event'" but it's not so complicated. It is, apparently, "a first in the U.S. between an entertainment venue and public transportation entity.

Just get on the train and your ticket doubles as valid fare. The deal runs on the day of the event for four hours prior to the start through the end of the transit day. The program will begin October 1, 2009 and run through September 30, 2010.

"This program will encourage use of the system as a great way to get to and from events at US Airways Center," said Phoenix Vice Mayor Tom Simplot. "The Rail Ride Event program will encourage new riders who will soon discover how convenient, efficient and safe the system is."

Call me an insufferable skeptic, but I sort of suspect this may be a way to juice the numbers and make that billion traffic-snarling dollar contraption seem more useful...

"Oh, we estimated that 19,530 of the 20,000 fans at the Suns-Lakers game rode light rail there," says a future public information officer.

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