After Super Sunday, history has been made for both Super Bowl XLIX and Phoenix-based Valley Metro. On Saturday, Jan. 31, light rail ridership nearly doubled compared to its former highest ridership day previously set on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. On that day, there were 65,800 riders who traveled to events including an Arizona State University football game, arts festival in Tempe and a concert in Phoenix. On an average Saturday, ridership is at 35,000 boardings.
Transit service to Super Bowl XLIX events included multiple layers of strategic activity to ensure success:
- Offered five days of enhanced light rail service to support rider demand.
- Provided special bus service to and from outlying park-and-rides to provide added transit options.
- Developed extensive operational planning that included staging of buses and maintenance technicians in the field to provide on-call support.
- Partnered with multiple levels of law enforcement agencies including the Transportation Security Administration and numerous police departments to ensure a strong security presence.
- Provided more than 100 Valley Metro and 120 Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee volunteers who gave more than 1,660 hours of volunteer service to assist riders at light rail stations and park-and-rides.
“Our goal in serving Super Bowl XLIX was to exceed all expectations and provide a high level of service that would help showcase metro Phoenix,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO. “Valley Metro staff, across all ends of the organization, worked incredibly hard to deliver a positive transit experience that would draw people back to this region and the Valley Metro system.”
Light rail and special bus service provided a seamless connection to Verizon Super Bowl Central and the NFL Experience in downtown Phoenix.
“Verizon Super Bowl Central was the largest event ever held in Phoenix, capturing worldwide attention during its four-day run up to Super Bowl XLIX,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “Public transit was key to the event's success and was essential in getting tens of thousands of fans to Phoenix's biggest party ever.”
The partnership and significant support from the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee contributed to the system’s enhanced ridership during this high-profile time for Phoenix and the region, according to the agency.