Blog Archives

Downtown Phoenix’s Central Station will be temporary closed on Dec. 11

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.

 

Downtown Phoenix’s Central Station is Undergoing a New Phase of Construction

[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.

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Bus strike possible Monday in Phoenix

[Source: Associated Press, via KTAR]

The Phoenix public transit department is urging bus riders to make alternate plan in case a transit worker strike is called on Monday.

City contractor Veolia Transportation Services is negotiating with its labor unions but a deadline extension for two of the three unions expires at midnight on Sunday.

If a strike is called, Veolia is obligated to provide service at 60 percent of the normal level on the 33 bus routes it operates. But it is possible all service using Veolia drivers could be shut down for some time.

Veolia also provides some service for Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale, and Sun City. Those routes would also be affected if a strike is called.

The city is posting bus strike updates on its website, www.phoenix.gov.

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Share Your “Best of Light Rail” Picks

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.

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Light Rail 101

Tony Arranaga (aka Light Rail Blogger), has developed the following tip sheet for incoming ASU students. The advice was so good that I wanted to share it with DVC readers.

[Source: Light Rail Blogger]

Tony Arranaga; Photograph Courtesy LightRailBlogger.com

Phoenix is gearing up for an influx of new residents as students arrive for the first week of school at the downtown campus of Arizona State University. In an effort to get more people using light rail, Barrett Honors College asked me to list some information for incoming freshman on how to use our public transportation system.

Specifically, the organizers of the Barrett Urban Experience are looking to show points of interest along the light rail, instead of how to use the light rail in this part of the Valley. Below is a list of some popular destinations north of the downtown campus. The information should be helpful to those who are new to our urban core.

1st Ave and Jefferson Station (Eastbound trains only) Use this stop for bothPhoenix City Hall (and the courts) in addition to the new CVS Pharmacyinside CityScape, which is across from the street from the station. CityScape is the new entertainment destination in the heart of the city, with several restaurants, a bowling alley and a comedy club expected to open soon.

Central Station Station ASU campusPhoenix Public Market and the Lincoln Family Y are popular destinations at this station. The market, located two blocks north of the station, offers a wide selection of locally grown produce and other grocery store items, in addition to local coffee bar favorite Royal at the Market(here). Many students usually grab a cup here before class.

McDowell and Central Station The restaurant My Florist Cafe (five blocks west of the station) is a good place for a date, Giant Coffee is a great place to read while enjoying a cup of coffee, and next door is Bunky Boutique (both are one block east of the station) where you can find stylish fashion for him and her . Also, with Hallooween around the corner, you’ll want to look for Easley’s Costumeswhich is directly across the street from My Florist. Easley’s has one of the largest selections of costumes and accessories in the city.

Thomas and Central Station St Joseph’s Hospital is three blocks west of the station on Thomas, in addition to Park Central Mall (north end of platform) which is home to popular breakfast joint The Good Egg (here).

Campbell and Central Station Central High School is located here, but you’ll be more interested in hot spots Lux Coffee BarPane Bianco for killer italian gourmet sandwhiches, and Slippery Pig Bikes.

Camelback and Central Station is directly across the street from popular record store Stinkweeds, the old school candy store Smeeks, in addition to Francesand Red Hot Robot, which are great locally owned stores where you can buy gifts for all ages.

In addition to these places, you might also want to check out a recent post by guest blogger Si Robins on how he lives car-lite in downtown Phoenix. I also have two short videos on popular destinations near the 3rd and Washington Station and the Central and Washington Station.

Keep in mind that some of these destinations are a bit of a walk from the light rail stations, which is why I use a bike whenever possible. If you’re carfree and need access to a rental, there are two Zipcars at the corner of 1st Street and Fillmore, which is the parking lot on the north side of the Cronkite School. In addition, there are also several taxicab services to help you get around. For more information on these and other transportation services, be sure to read my post on DowntownPhoenix.com. Information on how to ride the light rail can be found here.

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UPDATE: METRO bus strike averted; union contract extended to August 15

The Phoenix New Times is reporting that Phoenix bus riders have been spared a possible bus strike come Monday…

The Teamsters Local Union No. 104, which represents the employees who fuel and clean the buses, extended its contract until August 15.

The other two unions that represent Veolia Transportation employees had already agreed to extend talks. The bus mechanics union (International Union of Operating Engineers Local 428) agreed yesterday to extend its contract to August 15, and the bus operators union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433, has extended its contract until Sept. 30.

“It’s a good sign that they’re still talking,” said Debra Stark, executive assistant to the City Manager, who oversees the city’s Public Transit Department.

ALERT! Potential transit strike could affect downtown Phoenix

[from the City of Phoenix website]

Veolia Transportation Services Transit Labor Union Strike

The City of Phoenix Public Transit Department provides local bus, RAPID, Express, Neighborhood Circulator, and Dial-A-Ride service to the public.  Each of these services is provided by the city through contracts with private companies, which are responsible for hiring employees, scheduling and staffing routes, and negotiating employee benefits and compensation as part of their agreements.

Currently one of the city’s contractors for local bus and circulator service, Veolia Transportation Services, is in negotiations with three unions representing its employees.  Contracts with each union ended in June, and negotiations are ongoing.  It is possible that if negotiations should reach an impasse, transit service in Phoenix could be disrupted as early as July 25.

In light of that possibility, Phoenix Public Transit is recommending passengers begin researching alternate transportation plans to get to work, or other regular destinations of travel.  Below are additional resources about possible service interruptions, and alternate methods of transportation.

Negotiations Update:
No update at this time.

Press Release on Possible Transit Strike
This press release provides information the possible strike, as well as travel alternatives for passengers.

Background Information
Background information about Phoenix Public Transit services and contractors.

Phoenix Public Transit and Its Contractors
An organizational chart that shows the relationship between The CIty of Phoenix and its transit contractors.

Media Contacts
News outlets with questions about ongoing labor negotiations or affected transit service can call these contacts.

Passenger Information

Use the Trip Planner on ValleyMetro.org for bus and METRO schedules.

Go to ValleyMetro.org to check the schedules of non-affected bus routes and for the METRO schedule – passengers may be able to use an alternative route.  Also check a map of unaffected bus routes below.

You can also call Valley Metro Customer Service at 602-253-5000, TTY 602-261-8208.

Carpools or vanpools

Register at Share the Ride for a carpool or vanpool match list or call (602) 262-RIDE (7433).  If you want to meet your carpool partners at a neutral site, check out the list of Phoenix owned and operated sites.

Taxis, limos, and shuttles Sky Harbor, operated by the Phoenix Aviation Department, has a list of transportation companies on their website.

Route Information:

Veolia Route List

Veolia Route Map

Veolia Service (by City)

Non-Veolia Route List

Non-Veolia Route Map

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