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Officials say bus ridership on the rise in Phoenix

(Facebook/Valley Metro)
LISTEN: Bus Ridership Up In Phoenix

PHOENIX — If you ride the bus in Phoenix, you are in good – and growing – company.

The city’s Public Transit Department said bus ridership in Phoenix is up this year: 6.1 percent from January through August over the same time period last year.

According to department head Maria Hyatt, one of the reasons behind the spike in ridership is due to the increase in frequency.

“All service is 30 minutes or less. Our [weekend] ridership has gone up by more than 25 percent just by having more consistent change,” she said.

Hyatt said the coordination between the Valley’s light rail system and bus schedules is also making it possible for more people to go to sporting and other events.

“Let’s say you’re going to go to a Suns game and it goes into double overtime. Before, you’d be fine taking the train. Then when you got to your bus stop, we wouldn’t have been running that late at night. Now you can match up between light rail and bus,” she said.

In October 2016, frequency improvements were added to all local routes in Phoenix and service was expanded three hours every day, allowing bus and Dial-a-Ride services to match the light rail hours Monday through Thursday.

Then in April, service hours were expanded Friday, Saturday and Sunday, allowing the services to line up seven days a week.

The expansion was funded by Transportation 2050, a plan improving and expanding mass transit throughout Phoenix.

“Thanks to key investments we have made, tens of thousands of Phoenix residents are using our buses nearly 24 hours a day across our city to get to and from work, school and important appointments,” said Mayor Greg Stanton.  “Nationally, bus ridership is slipping, but Phoenix residents are embracing the expanded service provided by Transportation 2050.”

City Councilwoman Kate Gallego praised the voter-approved plan for allowing Phoenix to witness a “rise in ridership.”

“Phoenix residents voted to tax themselves to improve transportation throughout the city, and we are beginning to see the benefits,” she said.

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