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Valley Metro Rail served an estimated 220,000 riders March 31 through April 2, 68 percent more than an average weekend, the agency reported yesterday. Why the ridership boost? The NCAA Final Four event was held in town.In addition to the Final Four basketball games, Final Four Fan Fest and March Madness Music Festival, riders that weekend chose Valley Metro to connect to the Arizona Diamondbacks home opener, a Phoenix Suns game, Phoenix Pride Festival and Tempe Festival of the Arts. On April 2, the agency served an estimated 131 percent more riders compared with an average Sunday. “The combination of the Final Four events, ballgames and numerous other local festivities was challenging for our system, but our dedicated team members pulled it off without major problems,” said Valley Metro Chief Executive Officer Scott Smith in a press release. “The Phoenix region invested in light rail with these types of activities in mind, and the success of this weekend demonstrated just how much our system contributes to the regional economy and quality of life.”
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