The city of Peoria is about to begin saving transportation funds on a Valley Metro bus route.
Beginning July 1, Route 83 bus service in Peoria will be paid for by public transportation funds allocated through the Regional Transportation Plan and Valley Metro.
Since 2017, the Peoria has been using city funds to pay for the service. This includes $295,000 in fiscal year 2022 and $658,000 in fiscal year 2021. During these years the city received assistance from federal COVID-19 relief funds. Pre-pandemic, the city spent about $1.1 million in fiscal year 2020.
“Peoria saw the need to provide critical transportation to our residents by activating the 83rd Avenue line which connects to Bell, Thunderbird and Peoria avenues, where it was needed the most,” Mayor Cathy Carlat said in a news release. “Peoria took the lead to add this amenity in 2017, and I am pleased to see regional dollars now take over this service.”
The Public Transportation Fund was created as part of the Proposition 400 legislation, which was approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004 and extended the half cent sales tax for transportation by 20 years. The city of peoria identified a need for transportation service on 83rd Avenue from Camelback Road to Bell Road. To accelerate this regional connector bus service, the city stepped forward in 2017 with funds from the city's Transportation Sales Tax to ensure this service could be provided, according to the release.
Launched in October 2017, Route 83 was part of a 15-mile extension of Valley Metro service along 83rd Avenue, connecting Peoria residents to work, dining, and shopping in Peoria, Glendale, and Phoenix. The northernmost stop of this fixed bus route is at Arrowhead Towne Center and the southernmost stop is located at 83rd Avenue and Van Buren Street. The route also connects with east-west routes at Thunderbird Road and Peoria Avenue and east-west connections at Arrowhead Towne Center with routes on Union Hills and Bell Road.
With the help of regional partners and Peoria Councilmember Jon Edwards, who sits on the Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority Board, the city was recently able to arrange to have the cost for this bus service paid for with regional funds. The projected cost for this route for fiscal year 2023 for service in Peoria is $992,000.
“Transportation is a vital part of a thriving community and the city of Peoria has invested a lot to connect residents to the rest of the Valley,” Councilmember Edwards stated in the release. “Now that we’ve been able to secure different funding for the Route 83 regional bus service, we have freed up local dollars for future transit needs in Peoria.”
For more information about Route 83 or other transit options in Peoria, visit www.peoriaaz.gov/transit.
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