Light-Rail Service to Extend Past Closing Time on Friday and Saturday Nights

This is what you've been waiting for, drinkers:

By July 1, light-rail train service will be extended past 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. This means you'll be able to get wicked-drunk at local bars -- without the danger of potentially killing someone with your car.

We can only assume the Metro board has been reading New Times...

Freedom to drink into the wee hours isn't free, though: July 1 also happens to the be the date when the cost of riding light rail goes up. System-wide, the new hours will set Metro back about $255,000 a year. But the late trains have the potential to increase ridership; the consequences of the shift will be evaluated in six months.

Scroll down for the full release from Metro Light Rail on the service change:

PHOENIX - The METRO Board of Directors approved a measure that will

extend METRO's service hours on Friday night/Saturday morning and

Saturday night/Sunday morning until past 2 a.m. The measure was brought

before the Board as result of both passenger feedback and input from

businesses along the line.

Beginning as early as July 1, METRO will offer its last full trip of the

day at 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings, arriving at the opposite end

of the line at 3 p.m. METRO will continue to provide 20-minute service

in this extended period.

The estimated fiscal and maintenance impact for extended weekend service

is $254,500 annually to the METRO operating budget.

The Board also stipulated that an evaluation of ridership and costs

associated with the service extension occur after six months.

For more METRO information, visit

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.