Category Archives: Public Transportation
The Friends of Transit share this update on the continuing possibility of a bus strike affecting some of Valley Metro’s bus routes:
As you may be aware, the bus operators who work for Veolia Transportation Services (VTS) and are represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 have been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. VTS has a contract with the city of Phoenix to operate 31 of the region’s 100 Valley Metro bus routes.
This week, the Public Transit Department was informed by VTS that the negotiation situation had not changed and that a strike is very possible in the near future. Due to the uncertain nature of this situation, transit users should be aware that a service interruption could occur at any time until a new labor agreement is signed.
Until that time, those who use public transit should check the status of transit service during commutes.
Information and updates will be posted to phoenix.gov. Passengers also can get updates at www.valleymetro.org or by calling 602-253-5000 to talk with a customer service representative from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. or for recorded messages after hours. During bus service hours, the city will broadcast live announcements on Phoenix buses to keep passengers informed about any possibility of a service disruption.
Please pass along this information to anyone you know who uses public transit. The situation is ongoing until a new labor agreement is signed between the parties, and transit users are strongly encouraged to check in periodically.
To our knowledge, this does not affect METRO light rail.
As we get new information, we’ll update this page as well as our Twitter feed, @downtownvoices.
[Source: J Seth Anderson, Boy Meets Blog]
A street-car system, dating back to the 19th century in Phoenix has been covered by asphalt for over 50 years, until parts of it were uncovered on March 30, 2011 in a tangled mess destined for a landfill. (Thank you to Sean at the skyscraper page for posting these pictures.) This particular line was known as the Kenilworth (5th Ave.) Line. It ran south from Encanto Blvd along 5th Ave past the Kenilworth School and terminated at the 2nd Ave station. It’s been buried under asphalt since the late 1940s.
Quick history lesson: Phoenix had an extensive streetcar system up until the 1940s! Look at these maps from Wikipedia (this doesn’t even show the Grand Avenue line)
This burns me up! The city had an effective, extensive public transportation system in the hub of the city that got people into town, to shopping, to restaurants, to work, to public spaces, to concert halls and theaters then back to their neighborhoods. Sound familiar? Since 2004 the city has poured billions of dollars into the light rail in order to create a public transportation system… a system that already existed and was better than what we have now!!!!
We wouldn’t even recognize Phoenix today if these lines were still in operation. City officials know as well as I do that the key component missing in every single redevelopment or “revitalization” of downtown was effective public transportation. The light rail debuted in 2008 and by all accounts has been a huge success. We need more of it, we need it now. And sadly, we already had it.
New Year, New Habit, New Song!
What better way to start off the new year that with a new commitment to use transit!
Valley Metro is starting the year off right as they launch the third song “Just One Pass” today! Residents across the Valley will get a chance to view the new instructional video and feel more confident and comfortable in making the decision to use transit. With gas prices starting to rise, there is no better time to make a “new year’s resolution” to use transit more frequently this year.
The first two songs have proven to be wildly successful and have developed quite a following!
To watch the all the videos, got to www.valleymetro.org/notes.
Phoenix’s Central Station, Central Avenue and Van Buren Street, will be temporarily closed to bus and light rail service from 5 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010. Surrounding streets will be closed to pedestrians and traffic while an airlift for a nearby construction project takes place.
Metro trains will not stop at the platforms at Central Station and local city buses will move to temporary stops.
Light rail riders can board and deboard at the Washington/Central and Jefferson/First Avenue platforms. There is also a possibility of short westbound delays.
Bus passengers can pick up buses at one of three temporary stops:
- Routes 0 northbound, 1 westbound, 7 northbound, 8 northbound, 10 east bound, and 12 northbound at the northeast corner of Van Buren and Fifth Streets (use the RAPID stop).
- Routes 1 eastbound, 3 eastbound, 7 southbound, and 15 at the southeast corner of Van Buren and Fifth Streets.
- Routes 0 southbound, 3 westbound, 8 southbound, and 10 westbound at the northwest corner of Washington and Third Streets.
Transit passengers will not have access to the fare vending machines at Central Station during this time so they must purchase transit passes at other light rail platforms or on board buses.
For other transit information, contact the Valley Metro Customer Service representative at 602-253-5000 or go on-line to ValleyMetro.org.
[Source: City of Phoenix Press Release]
As Phoenix’s Central Station undergoes another phase of refurbishment, some bus stops will be relocated to surrounding streets and the customer service office will move to a temporary trailer on the site. The move is effective Monday, November 15, 2010. Go HERE to find a map of relocated bus stops; the light rail platforms are not affected.
The customer service office, where fare media is sold, will be closed from noon on Wednesday, Nov. 10 and reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 15 for the move.
In the meantime, passengers are encouraged to use the fare vending machines located on the light rail platforms to buy transit passes which can be used both on Valley Metro buses and METRO light rail.
The City of Phoenix received $5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to refurbish the transit center located at Central Avenue and Van Buren. At the project completion in summer 2011, the transit offices will be expanded to accommodate the staff and functions of customer service and of the Police Transit Bureau. Central Station will also have updated shade structures, lighting, and signage; and a number of sustainable features including a solar power system for the site.
Be sure to include your downtown Phoenix favs!
[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]
CityCircles, a Phoenix media start up, announced creation of a Best of Light Rail contest.
The company, which develops tools for hyperlocal communities, is seeking the public input in a variety of categories for businesses located within walking distance of the light rail line.
According to a news release distributed by CityCircles, the goal of the survey is to increase awareness of life around light rail and to make mass transit more attractive.
There are 36 topics in four main categories: food, drink, services/shopping and the light rail experience. Examples include best sushi restaurant, best example of historic preservation and best public restroom. The polling closes Fri., Oct. 1. The winners will be announced Oct. 15.
Click here to access an online ballot.