Bumper to bumper traffic, unexpected delays, finding a parking spot. All these things lead to a stressful commute for those working in downtown Phoenix. But, here at Valley Metro we have a way to make your trip a more relaxing and productive time.
Valley Metro’s RAPID and Express buses help quickly connect people from all across the Valley to the downtown Phoenix area. These special routes have limited stops and use highways to serve commuters from as far west as Buckeye and as far west as east Mesa.
Our service’s main inbound stops are in Phoenix at Central Station and the state capitol building on 17th Avenue with stops in between along Washington Street. Outbound trips travel along Jefferson and Van Buren streets in the evening. Those not working along that route can transfer to another bus or light rail train at Central Station. The buses’ routes are specifically tailored around commuting. Buses head out in the morning around 6 a.m. and take people home between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. A full schedule can be found here.
I rode two express buses to experience the magic for myself.
My first journey began by the state capitol building, the start of the all afternoon express and RAPID bus routes. That trip happened on an unusually rainy day where my fellow passengers were happy to get out of the wet weather and into the dry, warm express bus to Tempe.
Once we finished picking people up along downtown Phoenix, the bus kicked into high gear on the freeway. Like one big carpool, our buses cruise past most traffic in the HOV lane like it was standing still. As we rode down the freeway, people used their commuting time to read and relax.
On another day, while waiting for the Scottsdale Express, I spoke with a rider named Kath who says she’s been riding the SR 51 RAPID for a couple years. She told me she likes how the bus avoids the heavy traffic, especially single lane traffic caused by accidents and construction.
A 1-Day pass for an Express or RAPID bus costs only $6.50, a great bargain for a trip that can be as long as 30 miles one way.
Why start your workday with stress? Let Valley Metro take the wheel and enjoy your commute.