Friday, December 18, 2009

METRO hires new CEO, Steve Banta

An employment contract has been finalized between METRO light rail and its new CEO Steve Banta. Banta is expected to start work on January 20, 2010.

On Wednesday, the METRO Board ratified the negotiated employment contract and submitted it to Banta for his review and, ultimately, his signature.

“We are extremely pleased to move forward with Mr. Banta,” said METRO Board Chairman and Phoenix Vice Mayor Tom Simplot. “The METRO light rail organization will benefit from his years of experience managing an operation that is a model in the transit industry.”

Banta has worked in progressively important management roles for several public transit agencies including in his current role as TriMet’s executive director of operations as well as in San Diego, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Dallas and Pittsburgh. He has more than 23 years in the transit industry, starting his career in 1986 repairing railcars. “I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me,” said Banta. “I look forward to building a similar level of trust with the metro Phoenix community and add to the excellent work already accomplished.”

Current CEO Rick Simonetta has served as METRO’s first CEO over the last six years; his term ends December 31, 2009. METRO General Counsel Mike Ladino will serve as acting CEO until Banta’s arrival.

Simonetta has more than 38 years in the transit industry, working in all facets. METRO has been his first start-up adventure and, under his leadership, METRO opened on time, within budget and is now experiencing ridership that surpasses all projections. “I’m leaving this organization in very capable hands,” said Simonetta.

Source: Metro Light Rail


Metro's First Year Anniversary - All Day Saturday, December 19th

Ride light rail this Saturday for your chance to receive a “golden” transit pass! Discover new businesses, special discounts and be generally rewarded for your support of METRO in its first year. Here’s the inside scoop:


Ala Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, METRO will specially mark “golden” tickets in certain fare vending machines along the line. Buy your pass from any of the on-platform fare vending machines at the following stations for your chance to win:

Montebello/19th Avenue
Central Avenue/Camelback
Roosevelt/Central Avenue
Van Buren/Central Avenue and Van Buren/1st Avenue
Mill Avenue/3rd Street
Veterans Way/College Avenue
Price-101 Freeway/Apache Boulevard
Sycamore/Main Street

The 50 “golden” transit pass recipients will be entered into a raffle to receive one of 30 pairs of US Airways Center event tickets – either to a Phoenix Suns home game or a family-friendly event, like Disney on Ice or Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Two lucky winners will recieve “Grand Golden VIP Experiences” that include:

Four lower-level tickets to a Phoenix Suns home game
Seats on the Suns bench during pre-game warm-ups
Suns locker room tour
Suns autographed memorabilia

For additional information, including rider appreciation discounts, rules, regulations and eligibility details, visit Platinum Pass and U-Pass cardholders have also been integrated into this program.

Source: Councilman Simplot District 4 E-News

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

COMTO and WTS Media Advisory


Last ride of METRO CEO Rick Simonetta – photo opp today at 4:55 p.m.

The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) and WTS along with the generous support of Friends of Transit (FOT) and Arizona Transit Association (AzTA) have teamed up to host the last ride and farewell reception for METRO light rail CEO Rick Simonetta. Simonetta departs as METRO’s first chief executive at the end of this year.

Simonetta will be honored by his peers and city leadership for his six years of service and expertise, opening up the Valley’s first light rail system on time and on budget.

A train will leave the Sycamore/Main station in Mesa at 4:10 p.m.* with Simonetta and Mesa city leadership and staff on board. The train will travel west to pick up leaders in both Tempe and Phoenix. The group will disembark at Central/McDowell station and proceed to the reception site, the Phoenix Art Museum.


Wednesday, December 16

Train departs at 4:10 p.m. from the Sycamore/Main station.

Picks up Tempe leadership at 4:23 p.m. from the Veterans Way/College station.

Picks up Phoenix leadership at 4:50 p.m. from the Washington/Central station.

Group disembarks at the Central/McDowell station at 4:55 p.m. – PHOTO OPP

VIP reception from 5 – 6 p.m. – INTERVIEW OPP

Full reception from 6 – 8 p.m.


Reception will take place at the Phoenix Art Museum.


Mayors, Vice Mayors and Council members of METRO member cities will be onboard and speak at the reception.

More Info

The Phoenix chapters of COMTO and WTS have been active in the Valley for several years and are dedicated to promoting the advancement of minorities and women in the field of transportation, including public transit, aviation, highways and related modes.

*These are approximate times; as always, train schedules are subject to unexpected delays or impacts.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Google Maps recognizes Phoenix Central Neighborhood Association as a Favorite Place on Google

Congratulations! You have made Phoenix Central Neighborhood Association a Favorite Place on Google. Between July 1 and September 30, Google users found Phoenix Central Neighborhood Association listed 5547 times, and requested driving directions or other information about our association 216 times.

Because we are so popular, Google provided a decal that shows citizens we are a Favorite Place on Google. The sticker includes a special bar code that citizens may scan with cameras on their phones. Then they can see Phoenix Central Neighborhood Association listings on Google, read and write reviews, and be added as a favorite right there. Our office is located in the Executive Towers Condominiums at 207 W. Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013. Stop by and visit the facility and ask the office manager, Cindy Lee or one of the front desk attendants if you can capture the special bar code from the sticker. We have placed it on the condo resident bulletin board in the mail room adjacent to the lobby.

Send us an email at
if you have problems.

We look forward to providing you with more and better ways to grow the Phoenix Central Neighborhood Association.

Alton J. Jones
Phoenix Central Neighborhood Association

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

METRO Board enters negotiations with final CEO candidate‏

METRO light rail Board of Directors extends an offer of employment to Stephen R. Banta to serve as METRO’s new Chief Executive Officer. Staff will begin work with METRO member cities to negotiate a fair and equitable employment contract with Mr. Banta. The CEO selection will be made official with the Board’s approval of the contract.

“This was a very difficult [selection] process,” said METRO Board Chairman and Phoenix Vice Mayor Tom Simplot following the Board’s executive session where the two final candidates – Mr. Banta and Deborah Wathen Finn – were discussed. “Either candidate could take the reins and lead us with outstanding success; they are each professionals and top of their class.”

Mr. Banta presently serves as the Executive Director of Operations for TriMet, the transit authority for the Portland metropolitan region. TriMet is the 7th largest transit system in America providing more than 350,000 trips each weekday on its 52 miles of light rail, 14.7 miles of commuter rail and 81 bus lines. Prior to TriMet, Banta served as the Chief Operations Officer with the Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for eight years. He has more than 23 years of experience in the transit industry, starting his career in 1986 repairing railcars.

Current CEO Rick Simonetta will stay in this role through December 31, 2009.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

METRO to celebrate first anniversary and riders on Dec. 19‏


METRO to celebrate first anniversary and riders on Dec. 19

Make METRO light rail a part of your holiday plans on Saturday, December 19. Enjoy deals, convenient access to a variety of events and a chance to win a Suns VIP experience!

Ala Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, METRO will hold a Golden Pass promotion to celebrate its anniversary and thank riders for their generous support and use of the system over the inaugural year.

In partnership with US Airways Center and the Phoenix Suns, METRO will specially mark “golden” transit passes in select station fare vending machines along the line. The 30 lucky winners who receive a “golden” transit pass will be entitled to win a pair of US Airways Center event tickets. In addition, the lucky winners will be entered into a drawing to win one of two “Grand Golden VIP Experiences.”

To sweeten the anniversary celebration, retail businesses along the line have been invited to offer special discounts on December 19 to anyone who presents a valid transit pass.


Saturday, December 19


Along the 20-mile line


More specifics on the anniversary celebration, including the stations containing the “golden” passes and participating retailers offering rider discounts, will be released the week of December 14.

Information, including eligibility criteria, can be found online at
. Platinum Pass/U-Pass cardholders are also integrated into this promotion

Source: Metro Light Rail