We often talk about the early success of our light rail system and how it appears to be changing the way many people look at transportation in Arizona. One interesting topic that comes up regularly is the demographics of Phoenix light rail riders. According to a recent survey, 26 percent of AZ light rail riders connect from a bus. Another interesting topic is the popularity of light rail with recreational users.
Restaurants, the arts, and sporting events are very popular destinations with light rail riders. It has been said that “1 in 7 Suns fans take Metro to games.” Have you checked the average price of a Suns ticket lately? People that go to the games are probably not the typical demographic you think of when you think “public transportation.”
To me, it appears that the success of light rail has introduced people to other forms of public transportation. I think of it this way. If a person begins using light rail for recreational purposes, there is a chance they will begin to also consider using rail or other public transportation for future travel. If this is the case, those people might be interested to know that changes are a comin’ to the Tempe bus system.
According to a city of Tempe news release:
Changes coming to Tempe’s Orbit and bus systems
On Jan. 25, changes to the existing Orbit neighborhood circulator and fixed route arterial bus systems will occur in Tempe. Affected routes include 30, 62, 65, 66, 76, 77, 81, 92, Orbit Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter.
The majority of the changes include hours of operation and frequency reductions during non-peak hours and weekends. In addition, many of the Orbit and arterial bus routes were modified to reduce redundancies along major streets.
These changes are due to the slowing economy. The Tempe transit system is funded primarily by a half cent sales tax, which has dramatically decreased causing Tempe to reevaluate the transit system to make it more efficient in order to reduce costs. The changes were based in part on public comments received from residents this fall, and were approved by the Tempe City Council Dec. 10.
To view the modified routes, visit www.tempe.gov/tim. Another round of public meetings will occur in February and March to get input on additional route changes that may occur in July 2010. For information on Tempe’s transit program call 480-858-2350.
How To Get Involved
Proposed Bus, Orbit and METRO Light Rail Service Changes for July 2010 will be discussed at public meetings in February and March. See the following video from the Tempe Transportation Commission for more detailed information. The scheduled meetings can be found here: