Stanton, council members kick off late-night bus service

(Jeff Brooks/DD)

Mayor Greg Stanton personally oversaw the beginning of Phoenix’s weekend late-night bus services at Mother Bunch Brewing on Friday.

Stanton announced Phoenix bus services will operate at the same time as the light rail, which extends services to two a.m. on the weekends.

He extended special thanks to the staff and patrons of the bar for voting on the Transportation 2050 plan in 2015, the 35-year plan responsible for changing the bus schedule as well as bringing significant improvements to public transportation and roadways in Phoenix.

Monday through Thursday, the hours will be four a.m. to midnight. On Friday they will be four a.m. to two a.m., on Saturday they will be five a.m. to two a.m and on Sunday they will be five a.m. to 11 p.m.

Commuters board a city bus at the kickoff event for Phoenix's new late night bus routes. (Jeff Brooks/DD)
Commuters board a city bus at the kickoff event for Phoenix’s new late night bus routes. (Jeff Brooks/DD)

“We are headed in the right direction,” Stanton said. “I want to say a massive, massive thank you for all you have done to move this city in the right direction.”

Mayor Stanton was joined by Councilwoman Kate Gallego, who expressed her thanks to the people of Phoenix as well as public transportation.

“We are seeing huge economic development along the light rail,” Gallego said, raising her glass. “And with your help, and with great late-night bus service, we can see even more along all of our bus routes.”

The first bus marking the beginning of the late-night service arrived at the pub shortly after, taking patrons and council members along the Seventh Street route to visit other participating venues, featuring lower prices and a raffle between establishments.

In 2014, Phoenix Public Transit performed public outreach to determine what improvements residents wanted to see done for local transportation. According to city of Phoenix Public Information Specialist Brenda Yanez, one of the most requested changes was the desire for longer bus hours. The Phoenix Transportation 2050 Plan was approved by voters in August 2015, with the sales tax funding the plan beginning in 2016.

As of October, the purchasing of more buses and the hiring of more drivers brought about a higher frequency of bus arrivals, averaging wait times at 30 minutes or less. The plan aims to improve on that frequency even further down the line.

“The light rail only goes to so many spots,” Yanez said. “The bus covers way more miles around the city, so now you can take either. You have more options.”

Contact the reporter at Jeffery.L.Brooks@asu.edu.