As the date approaches for recent modified bus routes to take effect, the City of Phoenix insists the changes, specifically to Route 540, were a compromise.

“There was a method to our madness,” said Joe Bowan, of Phoenix Public Transit.

Bowan said the city tried to cut down the number of trips the route would make, but that ultimately, the alternatives did not help in cost saving.

“It all comes down to balancing the checkbook,” Bowan added.

The restructured route will operate as Route 522 starting July 23. The route will make two stops in Ahwatukee, one at 48th Street and Elliot Road and one at 48th Street and Warner Road.

Bowan said those two stops picked up the most riders.

According to a Hendrix Rider Survey conducted in March, 51 commuters were picked up from the two 48th Street locations, where a total of 18 were picked up from the Warner/Elliot Loop.

Along the loop, transit officials said about eight stops were made on the Warner/Elliot Loop. By cutting straight through the loop to the two proposed locations, Bowan said it saves commute time.

“The more times the bus stops, the longer the trip becomes,” Bowan said.

Bowan also suggested an increased use in park-and-rides could be the future of public transit. Ideally, according to Bowan, a second location for a park-and-ride in Ahwatukee would be placed along Interstate 10.

Ahwatukee’s park-and-ride at 40th Street and Pecos Road went through a $3 million expansion in recent years.

• Diana Martinez is freelancing this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Reach her at thedianamartinez@gmail.com Follow on Twitter @_dianamartinez.

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