[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix plans to downsize the free Downtown Area Shuttle’s bus routes on July 26, but a downtown business group is lobbying prevent some of the cuts. Because of city budget reductions, the DASH will lose its “downtown loop,” which stops at or near many key downtown cultural attractions, including the Phoenix Convention Center, Heritage Square, hotels, and the Orpheum Theatre. The more heavily-used “government loop” will continue. It links the county government campus and the state government complex, which lie farther west.
The change will save Phoenix’s Public Transit Department $317,000 annually in its $175 million bus operations budget. “When we cut there is a method to the madness. We want to affect the least amount of people,” transit spokeswoman Yvette Roeder said. The government loop had 459,984 boardings in fiscal 2009, city figures show, while the downtown loop had 71,266 boardings. A boarding is a one-way trip made by one rider.
The Downtown Phoenix Partnership wants the city to save at least part of the downtown loop, said David Roderique president and CEO of the business group. The partnership, which contributes $18,000 annually to the DASH, plans to meet with transit officials in a few weeks to discuss options, Roderique said. [Note: Read the full article at City plans to cut free downtown Phoenix DASH bus route.]