US Airways Center partnership offering free rides on light rail

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PHOENIX - U.S. Airways is partnering up with Metro light rail to launch a new program, Rail Ride Event.

The program is the first of its kind in the country as it partners and entertainment venue and public transportation entity.

People who have a ticket to an event at US Airways Center, including Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury games, can ride the rail at no additional cost the day of the event.

Event tickets will be accepted on Metro light rail for four hours prior to the start of the event through the end of the transit day.

Rail Ride Event kicks off October 1, 2009 and runs through September 30, 2010.

The program was announced this morning by Metro Board Chair and Phoenix Vice Mayor Tom Simplot, Metro CEO Rick Simonetta, Suns President and CEO Rick Welts, and US Airways General Manager Ralph Marchetta.

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

"Suns fans who used light rail to travel to games last year told us that being able to avoid traffic and parking issues, as well as the ease and convenience of the trip, resulted in an experience that enhanced their enjoyment of attending a game," said Welts.? "We appreciate the willingness and creativity the leadership at Metro light rail demonstrated in developing this program for all US Airways Center events."

"Whether attending a Suns or Mercury game, a concert, the Ringling Brothers Circus or a Disney on Ice Show, we believe having a ticket that includes round-trip transportation on METRO light rail will actually result in more people attending events at US Airways Center," said Marchetta.