The city of Tempe has announced the changes coming to existing Express and Orbit systems that will begin to take place next Monday, July 23rd. More changes could be necessary in North Tempe and the Tempe City Council is expected to discuss at their next meeting on August 9th. Don’t be scared to attend these meetings. They are public forums and it is your right to attend.
Savings from the transit cuts on the Mars and Jupiter lines are said to trim nearly $180,000 annually from the city budget.
Future cuts could become effective in October of this year to trim another $85k or so from the budget.
For info on the current Tempe transit changes, see the press release below: The good news? Kids can still ride for free! 🙂
On July 23, changes to the existing Express and Orbit bus systems will occur in Tempe. Changes effective July 23 are listed below.
• Restructure Express route 511 to serve the Tempe Transportation Center. The route would no longer serve the Price/Apache light rail station.
• Restructure Express route 520 to maintain today’s existing arterial based (walk access) service, but reduced trip levels. There would be two inbound and two outbound trips and the route would stop at the Tempe Library Complex Park-and-Ride.
• Restructure Express route 521 to maintain today’s existing arterial based (walk access) service, but reduced trip levels. There would be four inbound and four outbound trips and the route would stop at the Kiwanis Park-and-Ride.
• Eliminate Express route 532.
• Restructure Express route 540 (which will be renamed 522) by modifying the route to serve Elliot Road, Rural Road, Warner Road and Hardy Drive with direct service to the Tempe Sports Complex Park- and-Ride. The Phoenix portion of the route will be modified as well. The Chandler portion of route will be eliminated.
• Restructure neighborhood portions of Orbit Jupiter and Mars.
Over the last three years, Tempe has evaluated its transit system in order to identify service changes necessary to help address a budget deficit due to the economic recession. The Tempe transit system is funded primarily by local and regional sales taxes, both of which have dramatically decreased causing Tempe to reevaluate the transit system in order to reduce costs.
Oversight of these limited funds and sound business practices require regular evaluation of transit system performance to ensure resources are properly allocated to deliver an equitable, cost-effective, and fiscally sustainable transit program that works for the community. Tempe values its transit riders and strives to provide the highest quality and most cost effective service to the community. All modes (Local Bus, Express, Orbit, and Light Rail) were evaluated in order to optimize each element of Tempe’s total transit network.
Service changes were evaluated based on comments received by the public along with the goals of maximizing cost savings, maintaining ridership, reducing duplicative service, increasing system efficiency, maintaining or improving regional connections, maintaining system-wide service equity and minimizing service inconsistencies.
The changes were approved by the Tempe City Council May 31. To view the modified route maps, visit www.tempe.gov/tim.