"Tempe Cesspool for the Arts"

aka "Tempe Center for the Arts"

Tempe to cut Orbit bus service???

No more free bus service for homeless in Tempe

  Like most cities the Tempe Police have declared war on homeless people. Personally I think it is wrong for the police to discriminate against anybody.

Oddly while the Tempe cops are trying to run homeless people out of town, the free Orbit bus service offered by Tempe brings homeless people into Tempe like a magnet. The homeless folks can visit all the cool places and Tempe and the city of Tempe provides free bus service to move them around.

All Tempe would have to do to reduce the number of homeless people in Tempe is stop offering those free Orbit buses.

While I think the homeless people should be free from police harassment, they certainly don't deserve free bus service paid by the taxpayers.


Tempe Orbit cuts, fare proposed; public can comment

by Dianna M. Nαρez - Mar. 17, 2012 07:31 AM

The Republic | azcentral.com

Tempe residents have until March 29 to offer their opinion on extensive bus cuts and the introduction of a fare for the free Orbit shuttle.

The cuts are the culmination of a three-year plan to balance the city's transit budget. The projected shortfall for the budget next fiscal year is $2.9 million.

Proposed cuts to the transit system include rerouting Orbit's Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Mercury routes and restructuring, reducing and eliminating express and local bus routes.

The cuts offer a range of options for an annual savings estimated to be from $3.5 million to $4 million. The recommendation on specific cuts will be presented to the council for final approval after transit officials have reviewed survey and service data and public feedback.

Greg Jordan, a Tempe transit manager, said Tempe has hosted public forums to present the cuts and is hoping many residents will use the city's online site to review service reductions and offer input.

Transit officials will base their recommendation on residents' feedback, transit-system needs and the effect cuts will have on ridership. The recommendation will go to the community transportation commission and to a council transit committee at May 8 public meetings.

The groups will give input for staff's final recommendation, which is expected to go before the council in late May.

Approved cuts would take effect July 23. If an Orbit fare is approved it would not be introduced before January 2013.

Two options are on the table for Orbit fares.

One option would set the value of an Orbit trip equal to local bus and light rail by introducing a one-ride fare of $1.75 (reduced fare for qualifying residents would be 85 cents). All transit passes would be accepted. That fare would achieve a 20-25 percent recovery of expenses, which is the standard for Valley public transportation. Annual revenue would be $850,000 to $1.3 million.

A second option aims for a 10-15 percent recovery and sets the fare at 50 cents. Transit-pass holders would be required to pay the fare. Annual revenue would be $700,000 to $800,000.

The fare has been supported by some residents hoping to ease transit cuts, while others have argued that when Tempe voters approved a half-cent transit tax in 1996 the community was promised a free neighborhood shuttle system. [Politicians will lie to anybody to get them to pass a new tax!!!!]

Jordan said Tempe proposed the fare so residents can weigh in on the idea.

"The community really has to help us answer this question (whether to introduce a fare) and help the council answer this question," he said. "We see this as the community debating whether that perspective (providing a free shuttle) is still valid from 15 years ago."

A fare would help the city fund the existing transit system and make it easier in the future to expand Orbit into south Tempe, Jordan said. [That sounds highly unlikely, because south Tempe is mostly single family homes compared to the dynamic population of north Tempe near ASU]

A few scenarios are in motion that could ease the proposed cuts. The Regional Public Transportation Authority, which includes board members from Valley cities and makes decisions on transit funding, is expected to vote this month on whether to approve increasing the regional fare for light rail and bus to $2 from $1.75. The board also is in the process of allocating grant funding that would ease cuts for Tempe.

Tempe also has approval as of last month to combine the city's bus contract with a Veolia RPTA bus contract. The new contract will be issued in the summer and if it results in savings would go into effect July 2013 when the current contract with Veolia Transportation Services expires.

In the meantime, Tempe will move forward with proposed cuts.

To offer online feedback and review all of the proposed cuts, visit Tempe's website.

Orbit cuts include:

• Revising Mercury so that its western end is the University Drive and Rural Road light-rail station. It would no longer transport commuters to the Tempe Transportation Center. Estimated annual savings: $231,058.

• Revising Mars so that its northern end is the University and Rural light-rail station. It would no longer go to Tempe transit center. Estimated annual savings: $136,066.

• Revising Earth to operate on Miller Road without deviating for service between McKellips and Curry roads. Estimated savings: $226,795.

• Reducing weekday Orbit frequency from 15 to 20 minutes. Estimated savings: $1,126,132.

• Reducing Saturday Orbit service from 15 to 20 minutes. Estimated savings: $192,333.

• Reducing weekday Mercury service frequency from 10 to 15 minutes. Add extra trips west of McClintock Drive during peak times. Estimated savings: $81,086.

Express bus-service cuts include:

• Route 520 would start and end at the Tempe Public Library park-and-ride lot and no longer operate on neighborhood streets. Estimated savings: $48,540.

• Route 521 would start and end at Kiwanis Park and Tempe Sports Complex park-and-ride lots and no longer operate on neighborhood streets. Estimated savings: $20,952.

• Routes 532 and 540 would be eliminated. Estimated savings: $85,818.

Local bus-service cuts include:

• Reducing Sunday local bus service to 60 minutes on all routes in Tempe. Estimated savings: $402,883.

• Eliminating local bus service after 10 p.m. in Tempe. Estimated savings: $848,504.

• Reducing Route 108 (Elliot Road) from 30 to 60 minutes on weekdays in Tempe. Estimated savings: $239,372.

• Terminating Route 62 (Hardy Drive/Guadalupe Road) at the Tempe Transportation Center. Eliminate route segment between downtown Tempe and Tempe Marketplace. Estimated savings: $294,704.


Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Cesspool for the Arts