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Valley Metro hoping to get more drivers to dump the pump

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Valley Metro employees rode the light rail on Thursday, hoping to encourage more people to dump the gas pump and take public transportation instead.

“People need to give up their car for one day,” said Stanton. “You’ll have a nice experience. Ride it once, and you’ll like it from then on.”

But with the heat staying in in the triple digits through the summer month, Valley Metro is also trying to get people to remember to stay cool while they ride.

“We have posters giving riders tips on how to stay cool. Those are in our bus shelters and kiosks,” said Susan Tierny, Valley Metro spokesperson. “We also have them posted inside the buses.”

Some of the tips are fairly obvious — keep water on hand, wear clothing that can block the sun, or carry an umbrella. However, one Tierney believes is ignored involves timing. Many riders wait too long in the heat.

Tierney said riders can find out how long they have to wait by texting Valley Metro. Signs on how to do that are located at every stop.

Currently, there are no plans to renovate or upgrade how older stops are constructed. However, Tierney said newly-built stops will have more shade and will be made so they don’t get hot in the sun.