Last month, we talked about the new "Valley Metro LINK" service from Mesa. This is a rapid bus service that runs from Superstition Springs and connects or "links" with the Light Rail line at the Main / Sycamore street station. This service is very interesting to me in several ways.
One reason is because I have a very good friend named Rich that lives close to the Superstition Springs Mall area. Rich and I have had a few discussions about the LINK service and have had MANY discussions about the upcoming light rail line. You see, Rich works at ASU and is considering the service after December. There are many factors that play into his decision: Convenience, parking at ASU (continues to rise), vehicle maintenance, "green living" etc, etc. Having never relied on public transportation, many people will need to have an opportunity to test it out. It might be as simple as starting out riding the bus and light rail a couple of days a week. Maybe it makes sense to drive to a Park and Ride station so that a car is available, if needed. People will have many choices and I think that is good. The fact that Metro is allowing people an opportunity to ride for free to test the waters is a good idea (in my opinion).
Another reason has to do with "casual users" instead of people that work along the line each day. A couple of months ago, I wrote "A new Light Rail System is coming: What’s in it for me?" In that article, we talked about how all kinds of people can use the light rail system; from soccer moms to sports fans. I have a lot of friends in the southeast valley and would think they might want to give the new LINK service a try once in a while.
Here is today's announcement mentioning that the LINK service will be free until January 1st.
Valley Metro LINK extends METRO light rail service: Free rides through Dec. 31, 2008
Phoenix, AZ (Dec. 19, 2008) Residents living in east Mesa can check one more item off of their transit wish lists. Beginning Saturday, December 27, the first-ever Valley Metro LINK bus service will take riders between the Sycamore Transit Station (Main/Sycamore) and Superstition Springs Mall. Riders can take the trip for free from Dec. 27 through Dec. 31, which will match the free rides being offered by METRO light rail.
During the grand opening festivities on Saturday, Dec. 27, LINK will operate service every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and every 30 minutes between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 28, LINK will operate every 30 minutes between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Valley Metro LINK operates in new 63-foot silver and purple buses and serves as an extension of METRO light rail.
Details about the LINK schedule, map, connecting bus routes and access to photos are at: http://www.valleymetro.org/link.
LINK is funded by Proposition 400, which provides a half-cent countywide sales tax approved by voters in 2004 and funds regional transportation service and projects.
Changes to service effective Monday, December 29, 2008 are available online at valleymetro.org or in the Transit Book available at transit centers and city libraries after Dec. 22. Valley Metro passengers should seek out information about their regular bus routes by going to ValleyMetro.org or by calling 602-253-5000.