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Tempe, Valley Metro mulling aligned bus service

The City of Tempe is considering a merger of its bus
contract with Valley Metro by next summer.

Both Tempe and Phoenix’s contracts with their private
operators expire at the end of this year.

Sue Taaffe with the City of Tempe said it would benefit
Tempe and Regional Public Transportation Authority,
Valley Metro’s operator, if they joined.

“Right now, we’re estimating that a unified contract
between RPTA and the City of Tempe would save between
$800,000 and $1 million per year, with $400,000 to
$500,000 going to Tempe,” she said.

The possible merger could make things even smoother at a
time when ridership is on the rise, said Valley Metro CEO
Steve Banta.

“Whether it’s light rail or bus, we’re looking at numbers
over last May of about 5 percent for bus ridership
increase and about 8 percent for light rail,” he said.

Taaffe said that a majority of the ridership would not
notice a change in service, should the change take place.