Downtown Phoenix scenesters want the light rail to run past midnight (and so should you)

By Benjamin Leatherman

Sorry local drunks, Valley Metro's trains are only scheduled to run until midnight.

Word just reached us that members of the downtown Phoenix cultural scene will be out in force at tomorrow morning’s meeting of the city council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee in hopes of getting the light rail’s operating hours extended past 12 a.m.

Yep, you read that right. The light rail (which is scheduled to finally begin operation in December) will only run from 4 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week. It’s a situation that sucks for anyone hoping to catch a train back home after the bars close (guess you’ll have to quit doing shots by 11:55 p.m.).

Folks like indie concert promoter Stephen Chilton (a.k.a. Psyko Steve) will be prodding the members of subcommittee (such as council members Peggy Neely and Tom Simplot) at their monthly meeting to extend the light rail service hours until 2 a.m. on weekends for late-night partiers and drinkers.

The meeting goes down at 9 a.m. in the city council’s subcommittee room on the 12th floor of city hall, 200 West Washington Street. We know it’ll mean an early start for some of you night owls, but believe us, it’s kind of an important issue.

We’re not going to hop on a soapbox and start preaching on the matter, but we’ll let Psyko Steve do it for us. Here’s an excerpt from his MySpace blog on the matter:

If you have not heard, 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.

This makes just no sense. Bars and night life don't end at midnight, and if it ends at 12 that means you really have to stop what you are doing closer to 11 to make a train.

Well tomorrow, Thursday September 18th their is a City Council meeting to discus extending hours at 9:00 am at City Hall.

We need as many people to come to this meeting to show that their is support making the Light Rail useful.