Scottsdale Transportation Commission weighs proposed transit changes

Bus and trolley riders use the public transportation options in Scottsdale. (submitted photo)

Scottsdale trolley service would be expanded to the Mustang Transit Center and Via Linda Senior Center under a proposal by the city’s transportation department, officials have announced.

The Scottsdale Transportation Commission will consider the proposal at its regular meeting, 6 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

Funding for the expansion would require reducing redundancy among current transit routes or eliminating route segments with low ridership, according to a press release. The commission will vote whether to recommend proposed changes to the Scottsdale City Council.

If approved, the proposed changes would take place in October, the press release stated.

Proposed changes include:

  • Extend trolley service north to the Mustang Transit Center and add a new Cactus Trolley route. The new trolley service area would include Via Linda Senior Center, the Pavilions Shopping Center, Desert Mountain High School and the shopping center at Northsight Boulevard and Raintree Drive.
  • Consolidate Camelback, Neighborhood and Miller trolley routes into two routes. Consolidating the routes will eliminate redundancy and expand trolley service to a wider area.
  • Terminate Bus Route 56 at the Desert Botanical Gardens. McDowell Road will continue to be served by Bus Route 17.
  • Return Bus Route 72 to 20-minute frequency between Camelback Road and Tempe Transportation Center. Since frequency was improved to 10 minutes on Bus Route 72 in April 2016, ridership has gone down. Decreasing the frequency will allow resources to be devoted to improving transit service in other areas of the city.
  • Eliminate or reroute the Route 514 Express Bus. Scottsdale is working with Valley Metro and neighboring jurisdictions to explore more economical and convenient route options to connect with downtown Phoenix during peak travel times.
  • Reroute Bus Route 81 to Hayden Road and terminate service on Pima Road. Bus Route 81 would remain on Hayden Road north of Indian Bend Road. Service would be added on Shea Boulevard between Hayden Road and 90th Street and on 90th Street between Shea Boulevard and the Mustang Transit Center. Service north of the intersection of Pima and Indian Bend roads would be replaced by expanded free trolley service. Transit service on Indian Bend Road between Hayden Road and Pima Road will be eliminated due to low ridership.
  • Terminate Bus Route 80 at Hayden Road. Service on Shea Boulevard between Hayden Road and the Mustang Transit Center would be served by Bus Route 81, and the Cactus Trolley would provide service on Via Linda east of the Mustang Transit Center to Desert Mountain High School.
  • Provide 20-minute frequency on all trolley routes except the Downtown Trolley Loop. Consistent frequency is less complicated for riders as they don’t need to look up individual trolley route schedules. Additionally, trolley service on Miller Road would improve from 30-minute frequency.

The following maps show current and proposed transit service:

The Transportation Commission welcomes public input. Residents unable to attend the meeting in person can submit comments via the commission’s online public comment form.

Valley Metro will be hosting additional public meetings on these proposed changes in May.

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