The city of Phoenix Public Transit Department received approval from the Phoenix City Council to make cuts to its Valley Metro bus service in December because of rapidly declining sales tax revenues. The move will save the city $7.4 million dollars over the next 18 months. More service cutbacks are expected in July 2009; but city council hopes to restore service in better economic times.
On Dec. 29, 2008, cuts will be made to all Monday through Friday bus trips that start within Phoenix before 5 a.m. and after 10 p.m. Effectively, that eliminates 172 weekday trips during non-peak times impacting an estimated 3,600 daily passenger boardings. Phoenix buses carry about 161,000 daily boardings or about 70% of all bus riders in the Valley.
Included in the service changes, are a reduction of trip frequencies on Saturdays to match Sunday service levels, which run less often.
A trip is one-way travel from beginning to end of a route, which is the bus’s designated path. Frequency is the number of trips a bus makes in an hour.
Other changes effective on Dec. 29, that were approved previously by city council, will reconfigure or eliminate certain Phoenix bus routes to complement light rail service: the Red Line is eliminated and replaced by rail service; the Blue Line south of Camelback is eliminated; and Route 15-15th Avenue is extended to serve both the Metrocenter Transit Center and Sky Harbor.
The bus schedule changes will be available in the December 2008 edition of the Valley Metro Transit Book and on-line at ValleyMetro.org.