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Updated Dec 8, 2013 - 7:11 pm

Free light rail, bus rides to be given New Year's Eve

From left, Coors Light Explorer Raj Kandyil, General Manager, MillerCoors Bubba Moffett, President, Crescent Crown Distributing Greg Stanton, Mayor, City of Phoenix Mark Mitchell, Mayor, City of Tempe Trinity Donovan, Councilmember, City of Chandler; Valley Metro Board Vice Chair Coors Light Explorer. (Photo: Valley Metro)

PHOENIX -- If you drink too much this New Year's Eve or just want to avoid the road, Valley Metro will be offering free rides on both the bus and light rail.

Valley cities are teaming up with Valley Metro, Coors Light and Crescent Crown Distributing to create the free ride program, called Freeze the Keys, from 7 p.m. New Year's Eve to 2 a.m. New Year's Day.

Chandler City Councilwoman Trinity Donovan thinks a lot of people will climb on board for the free rides.

"We estimate that over 35,000 residents and visitors will be using transit on New Year's Eve to get to their destinations," Donovan said. "This is the first time ever that free rides have been extended to the entire valley transit system."

An official said the rides are designed to keep everyone out of harm's way.

"Celebrating safely this New Year's Eve is free and easy," said Bubba Moffett, owner of Crescent Crown Distributing. "Just jump on any of Valley Metro's light rail or buses, and they'll get you home safely."

Light rail fare inspectors will provide additional security.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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