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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Valley Metro's October ridership broke record


Phoenix's Valley Metro recorded its highest-ever number of monthly boardings — 7,080,564 — for its regional transit system in October, surpassing the previous record of 6,649,206 set in April 2009.

High light-rail ridership has been driven up significantly by special events, including the Arizona State University vs. University of Oregon football game on Oct. 18, which produced the highest ridership day to date at more than 65,000 boardings, Valley Metro officials said in a prepared statement.

"Significant ridership increases are an indicator that passengers are finding greater value and convenience by using public transit to reach their local designations," said Chief Executive Officer Steve Banta.

October's light-rail boardings increased 9.6 percent to 1,380,055, while average daily boardings climbed 6.6 percent to 48,904.

Meanwhile, Valley Metro officials plan to host two public meetings next week to provide an update on the Northwest light-rail extension project. Attendees will have the opportunity to view the final design, draft construction schedule and business assistance programs, agency officials said.

The proposed 3.2-mile extension, which would travel north from Bethany Home Road along 19th Avenue to Dunlap Avenue, is slated to open in late 2015 or early 2016.

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More News from 11/21/2012