Did you know that planning a service change could take up to two years? Changes that will require additional vehicles must be planned a minimum of two years ahead of time.
Valley Metro is constantly looking for ways to enhance service for our customers. In order to improve and grow, service changes may be necessary.
Service changes generally involve route and schedule adjustments. According to Valley Metro’s manager of service planning, Joe Gregory, those changes take place twice a year in April and October.
With a timeline of usually around six months, there are numerous steps that go into planning and executing service changes. Those include:
• Update the Short-Range Transit Program (SRTP), a five-year look ahead at plans for route changes, every year.
• Hold monthly meetings between transit staff of member cities and Valley Metro staff to coordinate, report and deliver updates on projects.
• For October service changes; the SRTP database is matched with the change that corresponds to the timeframe in January. From there, adjustments are made to schedule or routes accordingly.
• Once changes are ready to take place, routes are analyzed in order to ensure all communities along the route are adequately served.
Once these steps have taken place, a proposal for a service change can be taken through the committee and Boards of Directors process in order to bring the process to the public. It is always important to get feedback on any proposed adjustments.
Public outreach takes place for one month in which newspaper announcements, social media, web comment form, and outreach is all used to collect public response. From there, public response is shared with cities and the plan for proposed route changes can move forward.
Following approval, schedule and routing information is produced. These include the transit book, bus stop signage, maps and more. In the final two weeks before the changes kick in, outreach is a priority. This gets the information about all the changes to the passengers.
For service changes coming to Valley Metro in the future, check out our website.