Rapid transit

A rapid transit bus picks up passengers at the newly expanded park and ride facility at Pecos and 40th streets. June 29, 2010

AFN file

The city of Phoenix is looking for a way to say thank you to riders who had to deal with an almost week-long bus strike in the middle of March by offering Rider Appreciation Days sometime this summer.

“The city is looking for ways to support our bus riders,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “They suffered through the strike and many people asked what to do because they lost a week on their bus pass. The city of Phoenix and the region is going to do something.”

It’s not clear exactly what the city might be able to do, but the plan that moved forward from the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee meeting was to offer three days of complimentary bus and light rail services region-wide.

A report compiled by Neal Young, interim public transit director, recommends forgoing regional fare revenues of approximately $330,000 to provide the complimentary service. The rider appreciation days are targeted for a Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Stanton said another idea that is on the table is to offer a discounted rate to pass holders.

“It has to do more with how we can best administer it,” Stanton said.

The report will go before the full City Council for final action in early May.

“The customer base that uses the bus every day to get to school or work, they are the core customers and they are the ones that were really harmed by that bus strike,” Stanton said. “They had to miss work or figure out arrangements that probably inconvenienced not only them but family members and friends that had to take them to work. I want to make sure whatever we do that we really focus in on those day-to-day customers. They were very patient with us during that bus strike and we owe them a thank you. Our plan will demonstrate that.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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