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Thu, Feb 2, 2012

More than 7,500 signs across Valley point to NextRide

Phoenix, AZ (Feb. 2, 2012) Have you seen your sign? More and more Valley Metro passengers are letting their fingers do the talking after spotting their NextRide sign at their bus stop or light rail station. NextRide simply provides passengers with real time or scheduled bus and train arrival times. 

“We want to make it easier for our passengers to get on board,” said Steve Banta, CEO, METRO light rail. “This travel tool takes the guesswork out of riding transit and allows passengers to be more timely when heading out to their stop.”

Instructions for NextRide are posted at each of the Valley’s 7,500 bus stops and light rail stations. The information request uses Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology to send out real time or scheduled arrival times. By using the mobile website, texting or calling, the passenger enters the stop’s unique stop identification (ID) number and receive the next arrival times for the light rail train, bus route or routes served by that station or stop. There are four ways passengers can retrieve the arrival times instantaneously:
1. SMS Text Messaging to 64274, enter NXRD and the stop number listed on the sign, press send
2. Valley Metro mobile site (www.ValleyMetro.org)
3. Phone call to (602) 253-5000, say NextRide, say or enter your stop number
4. Valley Metro web site

With the advent of NextRide, there were nearly 306,000 SMS text messages sent out between August 2011 and January 2012. That resulted in 270,000 fewer calls made to customer service.

According to Valley Metro Customer Service Manager Scott Wisner, the goal is to reduce the pressure on the phone lines and provide quicker customer service to waiting callers. About 55 percent of calls received by Valley Metro pertain to arrival information. 

A recent post by Facebook fan, Trinity Marler, states, “I love NextRide! Just moved to Phoenix a week ago and I use it every time, especially love that you can text the info. I save my closest bus stop numbers and text in from my apartment so I know when to leave.”

The funding for NextRide was provided by a federal Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) grant and regional public transportation funds from the countywide half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2004.

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, vanpools, 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. All service and projects funded by the Proposition 400 Regional Transportation Plan funds approved by Maricopa County voters in November 2004.


 

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