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PHOENIX — The Phoenix Public Transit Department will provide commuters a different option to get to work in downtown Phoenix when extended RAPID™ I-17 service begins on Jan. 24, 2011 in far northwest Phoenix. The new 512-space Happy Valley Park-and-Ride at the southwest corner of Happy Valley Road and Interstate 17 will be opened for bus service, and carpools and vanpools starting Monday, January 24, 2011.
Bus riders will be able to catch a RAPID I-17 bus to downtown Phoenix or take local bus Route 35-35th Ave. Carpooling and vanpooling commuters also can meet up at this new location.
The Happy Valley Park and Ride sits on a 7.7 acre lot of remnant land from the State Land Department. The $2.6 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded project was built by Norquay, a local construction company, and has covered parking, bike racks and lockers, and a security building with surveillance cameras throughout the site.
Public Celebration and Meet and Greet – Saturday, January 22, 2011
On Saturday, January 22, 2011, the Phoenix Public Transit Department will hold a 10:30 a.m. celebration ceremony with Vice Mayor Thelda Williams.
The 10 a.m. to noon information activities for the public include:
• A RAPID bus on display with new bus schedule handouts and Transit Books - Phoenix Public Transit Department
• Information on sharing the ride in carpools and vanpools with a commuter van on display –Valley Metro RideShare
• Presentation of the public art feature “A Long Way Home” which creates shade for passengers – Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
• Information about the TransitWatch transit security program - Phoenix Police Transit Bureau.
• Pointers on securing your car from theft and burglary - Arizona Auto Theft Authority.
• Ways to enjoy reading while riding the bus with advice on how to download free library audio and e-books - the Agave Branch Library
• Performance of “Just One Pass” part of Valley Metro’s musical transit education program – local band Mill’s End
RAPID I-17 Service• Addition of ten trips a day to the RAPID™ I-17 schedule during the workweek.
• Extended service to the Happy Valley Park-and-Ride at 24700 N. 29th Ave. at I-17 and Happy Valley Road.
• The Deer Valley Community Center RAPID™ bus stop and 19th Ave. RAPID I-17 bus stops will close.
RAPID-to-Rail I-17• Four new RAPID-to-Rail trips will start. RAPID-to-Rail connects I-17 commuter service to light rail, traveling from the Bell Road / I-17 Park-and-Ride and Metrocenter Transit Center to the Montebello / 19th Ave. rail station.
Grand Avenue Limited• Extension of the Grand Avenue Limited (GAL) from downtown Phoenix up Central Avenue to the Camelback / Central Transit Center. The GAL extension will be evaluated after a 12-month trial period.
Express Service• Elimination of Express routes 570, 582, and 590
• Reduction of Express route 581 to start at 59th Avenue and Thunderbird Road. and terminate at Metrocenter Transit Center, with fewer morning and evening trips. The 581 reduction will be evaluated after a 12-month trial period.
Changes to transit service were made after a study of Express and RAPID™ commuter routes by Phoenix Public Transit planning staff showed high demand in northern parts of Phoenix, and underutilization of Express routes. The changes will save an estimated $300,000 annually.
“We had to look at all forms of transit service for savings and efficiency, including RAPID and Express,” said Phoenix Public Transit Department Director Debbie Cotton. “The changes to I-17 RAPID service will offer an alternative to driving for some users, while allowing us to direct funds to service for Phoenix riders who have provided the backbone of our city’s transit funding.”
More information on RAPID™ and other transit services is available online at www.valleymetro.org, or by calling Valley Metro Customer Service at 602-253-5000.
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