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Bus ridership continues to improve in PhoenixBus ridership continues to improve in Phoenix<div class="ExternalClassB1B650C1CA1A442BA875E6B3286CF27B"><p>Bus ridership in Phoenix is up 6.1 percent from January through August over last year, due to 30 minute or less frequency and longer service days that are funded by the voter-approved Phoenix Transportation 2050 (T2050) plan.</p><p>"Thanks to key investments we have made, tens of thousands of Phoenix residents are using our buses nearly 24 hours a day across our city to get to and from work, school and important appointments," said Mayor Greg Stanton.  "Nationally, bus ridership is slipping, but Phoenix residents are embracing the expanded service provided by Transportation 2050."</p><p>In October 2016, frequency improvements were added to all local routes in Phoenix and service was expanded three hours every day, which allowed bus and Dial-a-Ride to match light rail hours Monday through Thursday. Last April, service hours were expanded Friday, Saturday and Sunday to complete matching light rail hours seven days a week.</p><p>"The city has made big investments in our transportation infrastructure with Transportation 2050," said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. "The expansion of our bus service provides our residents greater interconnectivity with our light rail service which results in greater mobility throughout Phoenix."</p><p>The results of the service increase have resulted in bus riders during the new service hours, but those gains have shown to improve on local routes throughout the day as well – especially on the weekends.</p><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>T2050 bus ridership highlights Jan.-Aug. 2017</strong></span></p><ul><li>6.1 percent increase in total ridership from </li><li>25 percent increase in weekend ridership</li><li>10.8 percent increase in May is the largest jump in a month this year</li><li>Phoenix had over 4 million transit riders in March including all bus, circulator and light rail boardings</li></ul><p>"When the voters approved Transportation 2050 they did more than support a 35-year plan to advance Phoenix's transportation future, they also entered into a contract with the city of Phoenix to implement a specific plan aimed at dramatically expanding investment for bus service, light rail construction, and street improvements," said Councilman Daniel Valenzuela. "One of the key components of T2050 called for improved frequency on local bus service, a commitment that was delivered almost a year ago and has led to this increase in bus ridership." </p><p>Other improvements over the last year have included extending routes to transit centers and popular destinations to improve connectivity for Phoenix bus riders – one such example is Route 122 (Cactus), which services ASU West's campus. Last April the route was extended down 19th Avenue to the light rail park-and-ride at Dunlap Road and that has led to a spike in ridership on the route by more than 435 percent in August.</p><p>"While bus ridership is declining nationally, Phoenix is witnessing a rise in ridership due to the voter approved T2050 Plan. Phoenix residents voted to tax themselves to improve transportation throughout the city, and we are beginning to see the benefits," said Councilwoman Kate Gallego. "We have expanded bus service throughout the city to match our expanding light rail hours and we will continue to see improvements in service, technology, and fleet in the upcoming year."</p><p>As Phoenix continues to improve transit options in Phoenix through the voter-approved Transportation 2050 plan, riders can look forward to improved frequency throughout Phoenix's core on key bus routes, such as routes 29 (Thomas) and 41 (Indian School) this October. </p><p>"Increasing frequency on highly-used routes in the City's core makes sense, and is the next step in the continuing growth of local public transit. Improved service on Thomas and Indian School roads will increase access and ridership, and contribute to a more holistic approach of enhancing mobility along with creating new bike lanes, adding sidewalks, and preserving pavement that compliments the entire transit system, said Vice Mayor Laura Pastor."</p><p><strong>About the Phoenix Public Transit Department:</strong></p><p>The Phoenix Public Transit Department provides Phoenix residents a variety of transit options and is the largest member of the Valley Metro regional transit system. Services range from local and commuter buses to alternative transportation for senior citizens and special needs. The city of Phoenix funds transit, and other transportation improvements, through Transportatio​n 2050 (T2050) - a local sales tax approved by Phoenix voters in 2015 – as well as county and federal funds. T2050 allows for enhanced bus service, transit-related technology improvements and fare media upgrades with the oversight of the Citizens Transportation ​Commission. Visit us at <a href="/publictransit">phoenix.gov/publictransit</a> or follow us on <a href="https://twitter.com/phoenixmetrobus">Twitter</a> for the latest news. </p><p><br></p></div>10/5/2017 7:00:00 AMLars Jacoby, 602-571-5895