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Mon, Sep 26, 2011

Route 685 Survives Service Cuts

Phoenix, AZ (Sept. 22, 2011)  The Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (RPTA) Board of Directors approved cuts in Valley Metro service today that would take effect on October 24, 2011. However, Route 685, the rural connector service that averages 60 passengers each weekday and operates between Ajo, Gila Bend, Buckeye, Avondale and Phoenix, will continue service as usual making five weekday and two Saturday roundtrips.

“We received overwhelming feedback on how important the Route 685 bus service is for the elderly and those who have no other means of reliable transportation,” said David Boggs, Valley Metro RPTA executive director. “This bus service is a life line for getting people in rural areas to jobs, medical appointments, shopping, and school.”

Funded by Proposition 400 funds, the county wide transportation half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2004, and federal grants, the service will continue to be reviewed annually. Due to a weak economy, which has resulted in fewer sales tax revenues being generated for funding transit service in Maricopa County, service cuts are being made to local and Express routes, including the elimination of the rural connector bus Route 660 that serves Wickenburg.

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.

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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