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Bus service to expand in West Valley
Submitted by Charity Yodis on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:00am
The wheels on the bus will go round and round all through Goodyear.
Valley Metro plans to extend several routes, as well as increase frequency of stops from every 60 minutes to every 30 at several route stops effective Jan. 27.
Although the extensions primarily affect Goodyear, parts of Avondale and Buckeye will see more bus traffic as well.
Valley Metro is gearing up to extend and combine Routes 17 and 17A, which travel on McDowell Road, from Litchfield Road to Pebble Creek Parkway.
Romina Khananisho, government relations manager for Goodyear, said the city is planning a couple of additional bus stops, but will re-evaluate more based on community feedback.
The two stops so far are on McDowell and Pebble Creek at the Walgreens bus pad for westbound routes, and at the same intersection in front of the T-Mobile shop for eastbound routes, Khananisho said.
The news comes on the heels of a Goodyear Economic Development Plan presentation that showed 48.2 percent of residents commute to Phoenix for work.
“As a city we’re growing,” Khananisho said. “What we did as a region, we allocated money through our federal allocation to extend it quicker because we’re hearing that there is more activity on bus routes. So we want to make sure our residents are having opportunities.”
Goodyear was originally supposed to receive funding for the project in 2016.
“It was just an opportunity for us as a city to do something faster than what was originally scheduled,” Khananisho said. “It will give us the opportunity to learn more about what our residents’ needs are when it comes to buses.”
The additional cost for the extensions on Route 17 and Route 3 is coming from federal money allocated to Goodyear.
Susan Tierney, Valley Metro spokeswoman, said the city is paying $315,000 to extend the route and add frequency.
Route 3, which extends to Fourth Street and La Canada Boulevard, will cost Goodyear $8,000 annually for adding frequency of service to every 30 minutes, Tierney said.
The Zoom Circulator route, which travels into Goodyear, is also being expanded in parts of Avondale.
Avondale recently announced that the route going through the city into the Cashion community will get a new fleet of larger buses that permit up to 28 passengers.
“Avondale is pleased to offer the service expansion into the Cashion community, giving riders more options for travel,” Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers said in a press release.
Route 685 is also being extended to reach the Buckeye Walmart and White Tanks Justice Court. The route is being modified to turn east on to Yuma Road in order to serve those areas.
The Buckeye Express Route 563 and The Goodyear/Downtown Express Route 562 are also having schedule changes.
“The changes to Route 562 and 563 have occurred to better meet travel demand on these routes,” Tierney said.
Charity Yodis can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @ckyodis.
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