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PHOENIX, AZ – More and more people are boarding buses and light rail trains in the Valley. Valley Metro, the regional transit system serving Maricopa County, exceeded its peak annual ridership with more than 73.4 million boardings in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 surpassing the record set in FY 2009 of 71.2 million boardings. A fiscal year is July 1 to June 30.
“Transit is becoming more relevant in the daily lives of our Valley residents and visitors,” said Valley Metro Rail Chair, Tempe Councilmember Shana Ellis. “We will continue to plan and build a regional system for today’s travelers, as well as our younger generations who understand the value of public transit.”
According to the Arizona Public Interest Research Group, young adults ages 16-34 drove 20 percent fewer miles in 2009 than in 2001 due to higher gas prices, the delay in acquiring driver’s licenses and improvements in public transportation.
“These ridership numbers bring into focus how important public transit is to residents,” said Valley Metro RPTA Chair, Mesa Councilmember Scott Somers. “We will continue to make the public transportation options the best they can possibly be and to provide our riders with an experience that will make them continue to think of light rail and bus as their primary modes of transportation.”
A jump in ridership was especially significant on Sundays with light rail boardings increasing by 12.5 percent over FY 2012. The increase is due in part to special events served by light rail.
Complete ridership reports can be found online at valleymetro.org.
About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of light rail. In calendar year 2012, total ridership for the system was 72.5 million passengers—an increase of 3.8 percent over 2011. The first 20 miles of light rail opened December 2008. Six light rail extensions are planned or under construction that will create a 57-mile system by 2032. Valley Metro also offers transit options including commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.
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