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Inside the Ride

Introducing Ridekick®: my new sidekick for bus and light rail


My name is Ann and I have a confession to make. Like many other working adults living in a two-car household, I had never tried to ride the bus or light rail in the Valley. Until recently. Then I heard about Ridekick™.

Like most of us, I have my reasons, or shall we say, excuses as to why the car is king.

Honestly, I’ve always been a little intimidated by bus and light rail schedules.

When you own a car, it becomes second nature to drive…everywhere.

Then again, in my mind I have very good arguments as to why I want to ride public transportation.

I don’t really like to drive. I’m happy to relinquish that control.

I could save gas money and wear and tear on my car.

I could save time and energy by doing work, checking email or catching up on Facebook instead of sitting in traffic and getting frustrated by the seasonal traffic.

Instead of imagining how things could be, I decided to make them a reality, at least for a day.

Cell PhoneIntroducing Ridekick™

One of the inspirations behind my increased desire to try out bus and light rail was Ridekick®, Valley Metro’s new mobile app. It’s designed to make it easier for riders to navigate the bus and light rail system, whether they are regular riders or new to the system, like me.

And here’s another confession. I’m not an app person. I have a handful of apps on my phone but I don’t typically download them to help with daily tasks such as grocery shopping, working out or playing games to pass the time.

So what makes Ridekick® different? It has a bunch of neat features, but the one I found most interesting was the trip planner. I like being organized. I like to have my day planned down to the minute. So, for my first trip on the bus, I found it helpful to put in the date and the time that I needed to arrive at my destination. Then I did the opposite for the trip home. Ridekick® uses Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and filters to find best options such as the closest bus or rail stop, along with the quickest way to your destination.

Standing on a corner in Scottsdale, Arizona

I knew there was a park-and-ride close to my house and an Express bus route to get to my workplace from south Scottsdale. What I didn’t know was the correct bus stop near the intersection of Scottsdale and McDowell. Once I parked, I used my phone to pull up Valley Metro to make sure I was waiting on the right side of the street.

I am grateful to the transit rider who noticed my confusion while I was waiting at the bus stop. She assured me that the Express bus picked up there and would arrive in a few minutes. She’d been riding this route since the 90’s. We chatted for a few minutes until the bus arrived, then it was smooth sailing all the way to my destination and back home again. To be honest, the entire process was pretty easy.

A new sidekick for traveling on bus and light rail

With my first bus trip under my belt, I no longer feel intimidated. With Ridekick®, it removes guess work out of planning transit trips for new riders, as well as experienced ones like Michael Halliwell.

Michael’s been riding bus and light rail for two years.

“It seems to be more convenient and way cheaper than using my car. I don’t have to worry about parking,” said Halliwell.

He is one of the thousands of people who have downloaded Ridekick®. He also likes the trip planning feature.

“It gives me the ability to plan a day in advance where I am going and what I’m going to see in the area.”

Woman on Cell PhoneTake a moment to try it out yourself at no cost. Ridekick® is available for download from either the App Store or Google Play™.

Learn more by visiting valleymetro.org/ridekick.

Final admission: I’ll use Ridekick® again and again to travel by bus or light rail. Best of all, it was relaxing and comfortable. I could catch up on the latest episode of Nashville while bypassing traffic on the Loop 202. Who wouldn’t want an app for that?

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