Wednesday, December 21, 2011

METRO light rail holiday and December special events service schedule‏

METRO light rail will operate a Sunday schedule on the observed holidays for Christmas Day, Monday, Dec. 26, and New Year’s Day, Monday, Jan. 2. Trains arrive every 20 minutes on Sundays and holidays. Buses will also operate using a Sunday schedule.

On Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24, METRO will operate a regular schedule, but without late-night service; trains will complete their last full trip from the end-of-line stations at 11 p.m.

For the Insight Bowl on Friday, Dec. 30, and New Year’s Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31, METRO will run regular service with additional trains to support pre- and post-event crowds. On Friday and Saturday nights, trains complete their last full trip from the end-of-line stations at 2 a.m. (the following morning).

Please use the below chart as reference:

Holiday/Special Event

Christmas Eve – Saturday, Dec. 24
Regular – no late-night service

Christmas Day (Observed) – Monday, Dec. 26
Sunday/Holiday service

Insight Bowl – Friday, Dec. 30
Regular – Enhanced to serve special event service

New Year’s Eve – Saturday, Dec. 31
Regular – Enhanced to serve special event service

New Year’s Day (Observed) – Monday, Jan. 2
Sunday/Holiday service

For more information, contact Customer Service at 602-253-5000, email info@metrolightrail.org or click here for METRO’s regular service schedule.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 11.3 million riders in 2009, exceeding all first-year ridership projections by 45 percent. METRO continues to serve an average of 41,000 daily riders and refine its 20-mile operation. It is also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Thursday, December 8, 2011

METRO Holiday Train rolls into service 12/9/2011

To spread holiday cheer and show continued gratitude to riders, METRO light rail will release a specially-decorated holiday train into service on Friday, Dec. 9. It will stay in service through Sunday, Dec. 18.

The train will be adorned inside and out with seasonal d├ęcor promoting the idea of holiday shopping along light rail. To discover hidden, locally-owned restaurant and retail gems along METRO, visit m.shiftarizona.com from your smart phone or home computer. This site was developed in partnership with Local First Arizona to help residents understand how and where to spend local this holiday season and year-round.

Follow the Holiday Train on @METROrail’s Twitter using hashtag #trackthetrain. Send us your photos when you catch a glimpse or as you’re on board. Your photo submission enters you to win holiday giveaways.

Note: The METRO Holiday Train is a regular service train; fares are required to ride.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 11.3 million riders in 2009, exceeding all first-year ridership projections by 45 percent. METRO continues to serve an average of 41,000 daily riders and refine its 20-mile operation. It is also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Public transit receives $4 million in federal grants for green projects

METRO light rail and Valley Metro/RPTA have each received a TIGGER III (Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction) grant award together totaling more than $4 million for energy-saving projects. Forty-six total projects were selected nationwide following a review of more than 250 applications.

METRO will use its $2.7 million grant to build a solar shade canopy to cover stored light rail vehicles at the Operations and Maintenance Center. The canopy will cover an expanse of 142,000 square feet and provide crucial shading to light rail vehicles while also generating enough electricity to satisfy nearly 100 percent of the maintenance facility’s power needs. METRO will seek private sector support to develop the project.

Valley Metro is being awarded $1.3 million to retrofit as many as 70 buses with an innovative electric engine cooling fan system that is cost effective and lowers pollutant emissions. Energy savings are anticipated with a nine percent reduction in fuel consumption. The original idea for the cooling system is developed from military vehicles and now being applied to transit buses.

“We appreciate the support from the FTA to innovate transit operations in the Valley,” said METRO CEO Steve Banta. “The infusion of federal dollars will put people to work as well as generate long-term operational cost savings. Transit investment is a solution to the stalled economy.”

TIGGER is a Federal Transit Administration competitive grant program that supports transit capital investments that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or energy use. The FTA seeks out projects that enhance operational efficiencies, demonstrate innovation and help achieve agency and federal sustainability goals.

For more information on the TIGGER III grant program and Fiscal Year 2011 award recipients, visit http://www.fta.dot.gov/newsroom/12286_14099.html.

Photos are available upon request.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 12.6 million riders in 2010, exceeding the prior year by 11 percent. METRO serves an average of 40,000 riders each weekday while also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

About Valley Metro/RPTA

Valley Metro RPTA provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail, a bio-diesel Dial-a-Ride fleet, online carpool matching and bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Funding is provided by local and federal revenues. A board of 16 governments sets the policy direction for the agency and works to improve and regionalize the public transit system.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Public transit says “thanks” to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon



What

Public transit says “thanks” to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon

Friends of Transit, a nonprofit group that educates Greater Phoenix on the value of mass transit, will host an event to thank outgoing Phoenix mayor, Phil Gordon, for his dedication and passion for transit in the Valley. During his tenure, transit services have expanded to more of the Valley, including the addition of 20 miles of light rail. He appreciates and has tirelessly promoted the connection between effective transportation solutions and quality of life for his residents.

The Mayor will be presented with a few surprises to show the community’s gratitude for his eight years of support.

When

Monday, November 14, 2011

10:30 – 11 a.m.

Where

Central Station – closer to the 1st Ave./Van Buren light rail platform

Who

Speakers to include:
•Phoenix Councilman and METRO Board Chairman Tom Simplot
•Friends of Transit Chairwoman Yvonne Hunter
•METRO CEO Steve Banta
•Certainly, Mayor Gordon, post-surprise!

More

For more information on Friends of Transit, visit http://friendsoftransit.org/.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Sunday, November 6, 2011

METRO ridership peaks again in October‏

Breaking the record set in September 2011

PHOENIX, AZ — METRO light rail saw its highest ridership on record in September 2011, only to have the record broke again one month later. METRO had 1,258,711 total boardings in October, an eight percent increase over October 2010 and the highest in the system’s history.

“The increase can be attributed to a number of different factors including a large number of conventions, the Arizona Diamondbacks reaching the playoffs and Arizona State University football drawing a crowd,” said METRO CEO Steve Banta. “But it’s not solely events, it’s positive growth in response to good, quality service.”

METRO served a total of 55 special events, within a half-mile of the line, with an estimated attendance of 603,500. The events range from conventions, to concerts, to charity walks and festivals. The Arizona Diamondbacks had two home playoff games in October; however, the Phoenix Suns have yet to initiate their season, which typically starts in October.

METRO averaged 45,867 daily weekday riders in October; 36,725 daily riders on Saturdays; and 22,376 on Sundays. The Saturday average is also the highest on record.

Click here for complete METRO ridership information.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 12.6 million riders in 2010, exceeding the prior year by 11 percent. METRO serves an average of 40,000 riders each weekday while also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What is modern streetcar? Get to know this transit mode with Sept. 18 vehicle display

METRO will host the ameriTRAM (TM) modern streetcar vehicle to show the local community what streetcar is and the value this mode will bring with the development of the Tempe Streetcar project in the Mill Avenue corridor.

Attendees will have the opportunity to walk on this vehicle and talk with staff about this transit mode and the Tempe Streetcar project. This is a free event and all are welcome!

Sunday, September 18

8 a.m. – 12 p.m. – stop by anytime

Veterans Way/College light rail station

Manufactured by Kinkisharyo, the ameriTRAM (TM) offers hybrid technology where both overhead electricity and battery power are used to propel the vehicle. However, this is just one example of a modern streetcar vehicle. METRO will conduct a formal search for the Tempe Streetcar vehicle in 2012.

Tempe Streetcar will be the region’s first introduction to modern streetcar. The line will run 2.6 miles between Rio Salado Parkway and Southern Avenue in the Mill Avenue corridor. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2013 with completion by 2016. It will be built using a mix of regional Proposition 400 and federal dollars.

For more information on Tempe Streetcar, visit http://www.metrolightrail.org/tempestreetcar. For more details on the ameriTRAM (TM) vehicle, visit http://www.ameritram.com.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 12.6 million riders in 2010, exceeding the prior year by 11 percent. METRO serves an average of 40,000 riders each weekday while also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Friday, September 9, 2011

METRO light rail to commemorate 9/11‏

METRO will participate with transit agencies across the country in the nationwide Moment of Remembrance at 1 p.m. EST, 10 a.m. local, to honor the victims and 10th anniversary of 9/11.

At 10 a.m. on Sunday, METRO trains will pause and ring their bells for 30 seconds. Train operators will provide advance warning. METRO stations will also display an announcement sharing “9/11 – Never Forget.”

Beyond this short pause in service, METRO will run a normal Sunday schedule with trains running every 20 minutes.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 12.6 million riders in 2010, exceeding the prior year by 11 percent. METRO serves an average of 40,000 riders each weekday while also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CITY NEWS: BUS PASSENGERS WARNED OF POSSIBLE STRIKE‏

Transit riders who use or transfer to the 31 bus routes operated by the City of Phoenix’s contractor Veolia Transportation Services (VTS) should have back up plans for alternative travel to work, school, and other destinations beginning Wednesday morning, August 24, 2011.

Bus operators represented by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 will be voting on a “best and final offer” from VTS, which is contracted to the City of Phoenix to provide transit service.

If bus service disruption should occur, VTS is contractually obligated to provide 60 percent of current service; however, there may be a gap of time in which no service is provided. As soon as possible, contingency plans based 30 percent, 45 percent, and 60 percent of current service will be put into effect depending on the resources available. Under the 60 percent plan, Veolia-operated routes will run the Sunday schedule found in the Transit Book or on-line at Valley Metro.org: local bus routes 0 (passes through the Phoenix Central neighborhood), 1, 7, 8
(passes through the Phoenix Central neighborhood), 10, 12, 15, 16, 19, 27, 34, 39, 44, 50, 52. 60, 70, 80, 90, 106, 122, 138, 154, 170, and 186.

SMART and DASH circulators and commuter buses Express 581, RAPID I-17, I-10-East and SR-51 will have fewer trips.

A list of affected routes can be found at http://www.ValleyMetro.org or by going directly to http://www.phoenix.gov/publictransit/strikeinfo.html. It is expected that routes operated by First Transit and MV Transportation, who are also contracted to the City of Phoenix and whose operators are represented by ATU 1433, will continue regular service.

VTS also provides some bus service into the cities of Glendale, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Sun City.

The following are some alternative transportation suggestions to bus passengers who may be affected if labor agreements are not resolved:

Use the Trip Planner on ValleyMetro.org for bus and METRO schedules

Go to ValleyMetro.org to check the schedules of non-affected bus routes and for the METRO schedule - passengers may be able to use an alternative route.

Carpools or vanpools

Valley Metro offers a ride matching system that allows commuters to quickly and securely find a carpool partner based on proximity, destination and travel route by going to ValleyMetro.org. If you want to meet your carpool partners at a neutral site, check out the list of Phoenix owned and operated sites at http://www.phoenix.gov/publictransit/bldgs.html

Taxis, limos, and shuttles

SkyHarbor, operated by the Phoenix Aviation Department, has a list of transportation companies on their website at http://www.skyharbor.com/transportation-and-parking/limos-and-taxis.html

Tips for Employers:

Help your bus-riding employees in advance by providing them with alternatives for getting to work. Following is a list of tips to help get employees to work should the labor negotiations affect bus service.

1. Once you’ve identified your regular bus riders, provide them with a list of other employees that live in or in close proximity to their zip code. Encourage them to contact fellow co-workers about carpooling if their bus service is affected.

2. If you have an internal carpool matching system, identify your regular bus riders and have them “matched” for carpools with co-workers.

3. Suggest that co-workers who set-up “contingency carpools” make arrangements in advance by discussing pick-up times and locations, and have them exchange phone numbers.

4. Consider working with companies that are in close proximity to help place your regular bus riders in existing carpools or with drive-alone commuters.

5. Promote the Web site, http://www.sharetheride.valleymetro.org, to regular bus riders and other commuters and encourage them to receive a match list of potential carpool partners.

6. Arrange for employees to telework if they have the types of jobs allowing them to work remotely.

For strike information and general transit information, go to ValleyMetro.org or call a Valley Metro customer service representative at 602-253-5000; TTY 602-251-2039 for persons with text telephones.

Source: Phoenix Public Transit

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Taxi program for people with disabilities debuts‏

Phoenix Public Transit adds ADA taxi coupon to current subsidy programs

The Phoenix Public Transit Department has launched a new taxi coupon program for Phoenix residents with disabilities. Called ADA Cab, the program supplements Phoenix’s heavily-used Dial-a-Ride program for people who are certified in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). By working with local taxicab companies, the program allows participants to book trips at a subsidized rate, allowing for lower costs and more flexibility.

"The ADA Cab program bolsters our transit offerings for people with disabilities, and allows passengers to book their own travel when it is convenient for them," said Phoenix Public Transit Department Director Debbie Cotton.

To purchase coupons at a discount, participants must be Phoenix residents under the age of 65, and they must be ADA-certified. Certified participants can buy coupons to use to pay for cab trips. Each coupon is worth a dollar, and the $20-coupon books sell at 30 percent of their value, or $6 apiece. Participants can buy a maximum of $40 at that discount, and they can purchase an additional $40 at half price; in total, users can buy up to $80 worth of taxi vouchers monthly for $32. The coupons can be used for an entire trip, and can be combined with cash fares to travel further.

ADA Cab is one of several alternatives to fixed-route bus service that Phoenix Public Transit offers for people with disabilities. These options include Dial-a-Ride, which provides scheduled trips; the Senior Cab coupon program for Phoenix residents age 65 and over, as well as dialysis and work trip voucher programs.

The ADA Cab program is funded by the City of Phoenix and New Freedom grants from the Federal Transit Administration. The Phoenix City Council requested development of the alternative taxi program after same-day Dial-a-Ride services were eliminated from the department’s budget.

To get more information about the taxi subsidy program, call MV Transportation at 602-801-1163 or 602-801-1164.

For general information about public transportation, people with questions can call Valley Metro at 602-253-5000, TTY 602-251-2039, or visit http://www.valleymetro.org.

Source: City of Phoenix Public Transit Department

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

METRO light rail serves 200,000 across the five days of MLB All-Star‏

With the additional capacity of three-car trains, METRO light rail served more than 51,000 riders on game day, July 12, and nearly 200,000 across the five days (July 8 – 12) of Major League Baseball’s All-Star 2011. Typical daily ridership in July is 29,000.

“We put our best foot forward to provide good, quality service to those visiting the Phoenix area for the first time and to take care of our everyday riders,” said METRO CEO Steve Banta. “We appreciate the support of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Major League Baseball for seeing value in our service and allowing us to take part in the All-Star Red Carpet event on Tuesday.”

MLB All-Star-wrapped trains traveled through the Red Carpet parade on July 12 that welcomed All-Star players and their families into Chase Field, the site of the All-Star game later that evening. The red carpet ran adjacent to the light rail tracks on Jefferson St. in downtown Phoenix. For photos of this event, visit METRO’s Facebook page.

"METRO light rail has positively impacted our fan experience since its arrival," said D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall. "We greatly appreciate the cooperation, spirit and generosity from its leadership around the All-Star events. They had all baseball fans and their best interests in mind and provided clean, comfortable, efficient and first-class value."

METRO also provided service to many new, local riders who took advantage of the MLB All-Star opportunity to try transit.

“The kids and I rode the [light] rail yesterday from Mesa to Phoenix for MLB FanFest! It was easy and fun (and AIR CONDITIONED!!!),” said mother and first-time rider Wendy Dunn.

For more information on METRO light rail, visit http://www.metrolightrail.org.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 12.6 million riders in 2010, exceeding the prior year by 11 percent. METRO serves an average of 40,000 riders each weekday while also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Friday, July 8, 2011

METRO light rail to expand capacity to support MLB All-Star

METRO light rail will increase capacity July 8 – 12 to serve the demand from MLB All-Star 2011. Third St./Washington and Jefferson are your stations for all the action.

METRO will follow the regular service schedule with trains running until after 11 p.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. The nine system park-and-ride lots are free to use on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Riders are encouraged to buy an all-day ($3.50 for adults; $1.75 for youth, seniors or persons with disabilities) or multi-day pass for unlimited rides in the purchased time period. Validate the pass with your first ride and keep the pass on you in the event of fare inspection.

Riders are also advised to expect crowds on board, at park-and-rides and at fare vending machines. Please be patient and plan ahead.

To plan a trip, visit http://www.valleymetro.org, use Google Transit or call Customer Service at 602-253-5000.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 12.6 million riders in 2010, exceeding the prior year by 11 percent. METRO serves an average of 40,000 riders each weekday while also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Monday, June 27, 2011

Let light rail be your ride to July 4 celebrations‏

METRO light rail will increase service on Monday, July 4, to support patrons of the Phoenix and Tempe holiday celebrations.

METRO will ramp up from 20-minute holiday service to running every 10 minutes by 5 p.m. for patrons’ ingress to these events. METRO will also be prepared with a similar level of service when the events end.

Service will be extended that evening to have the last full trips at midnight, rather than 11 p.m.

The system will be busy on this holiday. Passengers are advised to expect crowds on board, at park-and-rides and possible delays. Please be patient and plan ahead. Post-event, look for the proper queue line or train headsign to board a train headed in your return direction.

Passengers are also highly encouraged to purchase an all-day pass in advance for their round trip service on light rail. Buying in advance minimizes your time at the fare vending machines on the day-of. Buy your pass today online, from a transit center, retail outlet or station fare vending machine and simply activate it on July 4.

For more information, visit http://www.metrolightrail.org or call Customer Service at 602-253-5000.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 12.6 million riders in 2010, exceeding the prior year by 11 percent. METRO serves an average of 40,000 riders each weekday while also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Friday, June 17, 2011

Reverse Lanes Update

Reverse lane changes are coming soon this summer. I was pleased to see my fellow Phoenix City Council members join me on a vote Wednesday night to address traffic safety concerns on the "Sevens," including the installation of a new left turn signal at 7th Avenue and Camelback Road. This is the first major change on these streets in 30 years! In addition, Streets Dept. will install new flashing beacons/lights and replace old signs with signs featuring universal traffic symbols. Click here to see a mock-up of the new signs.

This contentious issue was difficult to negotiate and I've appreciated your support, participation and comments during this long process. Although elimination of the reverse lanes was the ultimate goal, I felt strongly about and fought hard for the left turn signal at this major intersection to help ease cut-through traffic in our neighborhoods. Once implemented, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on whether these upgrades improve traffic concerns on the “Sevens” for our central city residents and businesses.

Source: Tom Simplot, Phoenix District 4 Councilman

NRG Using the Sun to Make Phoenix Light Rail Riders "Cool"

PHOENIX, AZ and PRINCETON, NJ; June 16, 2011—NRG Thermal LLC, a subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG), is building an innovative system that uses solar power and the Company’s downtown district cooling system to provide cooling to the seating areas of the popular 3rd Street/Washington METRO light rail station. The system will launch this July and operate May through September annually, when summer temperatures often exceed 110 degrees.

“I was able to experience a similar system during a business trip to Dubai and brought the idea back to Phoenix,” said Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. “NRG took the ball and ran with it, investing its money and expertise to make this happen. This solar-powered system will make riding the light rail in Phoenix even cooler. It’s an example of public-private partnership at its best!”

“This partnership with NRG will have a direct and positive impact on our riders,” said METRO CEO Steve Banta. “In addition to being a welcomed customer amenity, this project is the first use of solar energy on our system. We’re hopeful it can lead to other solar opportunities along our current line and as we grow.”

NRG plans to design and build this project in an unusually short time—by July 5, the week before the Major League Baseball All-Star game is held in Phoenix. Throughout the project’s construction, access to light rail service and station amenities, including fare vending machines, will not be affected.

Project benefits include:

Free and on-demand cooling for passengers will improve the rail system experience.

The system is environmentally friendly, leveraging the existing energy-efficient downtown district cooling system and using solar power to operate the air-conditioning/air-moving system.

NRG will cover the entire cost of building, operating and maintaining this new system, which means no additional costs to local residents and commuters.

The project will include an educational exhibit showcasing the technology and how it works.

NRG owns and operates NRG Energy Center Phoenix, which provides cost-efficient and effective cooling for 34 major buildings in downtown Phoenix including Chase Field, US Airways Center, the Phoenix Convention Center, the Sheraton Hotel, Symphony Hall and CityScape among others. NRG also owns and operates distributed solar systems in Arizona at several schools, which help reduce the schools’ utility bills and provide shade for on-campus parking lots. NRG is in the process of building 12 large solar pavilions at schools in four districts across the state as the first stage of the program. NRG also provides large-scale solar solutions in Arizona as the Company is developing a 25 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Pima County and the 290 MW Agua Caliente PV project in Yuma County.

About NRG

NRG Energy, Inc. is a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company that owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, the Company’s power plants provide 25,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to supply approximately 20 million homes. NRG’s retail businesses—Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy Company—serve nearly 1.9 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers. With major investments in solar and wind power, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure, NRG is working to help America transition to a clean energy economy. More information is available at http://www.nrgenergy.com.

About METRO light rail

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 12.6 million riders in 2010, exceeding the prior year by 11 percent. METRO serves an average of 43,000 riders each weekday while also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031. More information is available at http://www.metrolightrail.org.

###

Media Contacts:

NRG Energy

David Gaier

609.524.4529


METRO light rail

Hillary Foose

602.322.4468


City of Phoenix

Michael Hammett

602.495.5405

Source: Metro Light Rail

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Important Update on Reverse Lanes‏

Interested in the latest changes to the Reverse Lanes? Please attend the Phoenix City Council meeting next Wednesday, June 15th at 3:00pm at Council Chambers, 200 West Jefferson.

City Council is set to vote on installing left turn arrows at 7th Avenue and Camelback. This will be the first major change to the "Sevens" in more than 30 years. I hope you can join us.

If you have questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to call my office at 602-262-7447 or send me an email at council.district.4@phoenix.gov.

Source: Councilman Tom Simplot District 4

Monday, May 16, 2011

METRO light rail to conduct emergency drill – Sunday, 5/22

For your awareness, METRO will conduct an emergency drill on Sunday, May 22, beginning at approximately 9 a.m. on the Tempe Town Lake light rail bridge. The drill will involve a train stopped on top of the bridge requiring volunteers to evacuate and emergency personnel to respond.

Drills are routinely executed and required to maintain safety certification and a high level of preparedness by METRO staff and local emergency responders.

During the drill, there will be minimal impact to regular service. The eastbound sides only of the Priest Drive/Washington, Center Parkway/Washington and Mill Avenue/Third Street stations will be active and providing service in both directions. Riders should refer to the train’s headsign to know which train to board. Slight delays to the schedule could occur as a result of this activity.

When
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Approximately 9 – 11 a.m.

Where
Tempe Town Lake light rail bridge

If you would like to view the drill, media is asked to park at the lot south of Marquee Theatre, under the Red Mountain 202 freeway, accessible from Mill Avenue, south of Washington Street.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3/23 AM - Free passes and breakfast with the opening of new METRO park-and-ride‏

What

Try transit! New park-and-ride lot now open.

Breakfast celebration featuring the Suns, free transit passes set for Wed., 3/23, morning

The ARRA-funded 7th Avenue/Camelback park-and-ride has opened offering METRO light rail passengers additional and shaded parking. The lot will provide greater access to the transit system and is well-timed considering the growth in ridership and gas prices.

To celebrate the lot’s opening, METRO, in partnership with the City of Phoenix, the Phoenix Suns and Hunter Contracting Co., will offer free breakfast and transit passes to those who want to try transit the morning of March 23!

Come down to be some of the first to park in the new lot, grab breakfast from neighboring food purveyors Copper Star Coffee, America’s Best Taco Shop and Fry’s and enjoy the energy of the Phoenix Suns Gorilla! Finally, hop on board light rail with one of the 100 free all-day transit passes provided by Hunter.

There will also be an opportunity to enter a drawing for Phoenix Suns/US Airways Center ticket packages!

When

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

7:30 – 9 a.m.; comments at 8 a.m.

Where

West end of the 7th Avenue/Camelback park-and-ride lot. The lot is located on the southeast corner of the intersection.

Who

All riders, new and existing, and neighboring residents and business owners of the lot are encouraged to attend.

Speakers will include:

METRO CEO Steve Banta

METRO Board Chairman and Phoenix Councilman Tom Simplot

Representative from Hunter Contracting Co.

The Phoenix Suns Gorilla J

Source: Metro Light Rail

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bus detours for P. F. Chang's 2011 marathon‏

P.F. CHANG’S MARATHON WILL DETOUR BUS AND LIGHT RAIL SERVICE

Passengers should check routes before traveling.

Bus routes and light rail service in Phoenix will be affected when the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon rolls into town on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011. Several bus routes will be detoured to allow for the event.

Both full and half marathons will start at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, near Washington Street and 14th Avenue in Phoenix and will finish on Packard Drive between ASU’s Sun Devil and Sun Angel Stadiums in Tempe. All roadways surrounding the Arizona State Capitol area will be closed to traffic beginning at 4 a.m.

Over 30,000 runners are expected to run the race through the streets of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe. The race routes will be lined with live bands, volunteers, and spectators.

The event significantly impacts the area east of 7th Avenue and south of Camelback Road. Bus riders are strongly advised to consult
www.ValleyMetro.org or call customer service at 602-253-5000 for any route detour updates. Also, it is highly recommended that bus and rail passengers give themselves extra time to reach their destinations. Bus service in Phoenix will be disrupted starting with race preparations at 4 a.m. and continuing during the race until approximately 1 p.m.

List of Phoenix bus routes within the Phoenix Central Neighborhood boundaries severely affected by the detours:

Route 29-Thomas Rd.
Route 41-Indian School Rd.

List of other Phoenix bus routes within the Phoenix Central Neighborhood boundaries affected by the detours:

Route 0-Central Ave.
Route 8-7th Avenue

METRO light rail will not provide morning service to stations north of McDowell Rd. The following stations within the Phoenix Central Neighborhood boundaries will be without service until approximately 10 a.m., or until the race has cleared:

Thomas/Central Avenue
Osborn/ Central Avenue
Indian School/Central Avenue

METRO will provide service to the rest of the line – McDowell/Central Avenue through Sycamore/Main Street – beginning at 5 a.m. METRO will offer 15 minute service before and during the race when traditional Sunday frequency is every 20 minutes. Additional trains will be deployed based on the demand at the race finish area in Tempe. The entire line will re-open once police have indicated the marathon has cleared and it is safe to proceed, approximately 10 a.m.

For more detailed information about the marathon detours, please visit
www.ValleyMetro.org or call customer service at 602-253-5000, or follow @phoenixmetrobus and/or @MetroRail on Twitter.

Source: Metro Light Rail

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

METRO 2010 milestones

METRO light rail served more than 12.6 million riders in 2010, 11 percent more than in 2009. On average, 39,335 riders traveled using light rail on weekdays, 29,329 on Saturdays and 19,170 on Sundays/holidays.

“It’s been another incredible year for METRO,” said CEO Steve Banta. “Riders continue to use our service in record numbers despite the difficult economy and service reductions in July. 2011 is likely to bring similar financial challenges and they will be met by keeping a customer focus and an eye for where efficiencies can be gained.”

Other notable highlights of 2010:

· METRO has carried nearly 24 million riders over its first two years of operation.

· Reduced number of collisions by more than 50 percent vs. 2009.

· Generated $335,000 in system advertising revenue since program inception in Oct. 2009.

· Installed shade canopies at the 19th Ave. and Central/Camelback park-and-rides.

· Renewed the partnership with US Airways Center and Phoenix Suns to allow event tickets to serve as light rail pass.

· Entered the design phase on the Central Mesa light rail extension to downtown Mesa.

· Received local and regional approval of 2.6-miles of streetcar in the Mill Ave. corridor in Tempe.

· Moved forward with the South Central Feasibility Study in Phoenix.

For more detailed information on METRO 2010 ridership, click
here for the annual ridership report.

About METRO

METRO is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system. The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 12.6 million riders in 2010, exceeding the prior year by 11 percent. METRO serves an average of 39,335 riders per weekday. It is also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2031.

Source: Metro Light Rail