Commission discusses light rail possibilities

March 4, 2021

The Citizens Transportation Oversight Commission recently discussed expanding the light rail to ASU’s West Campus and Metro Center Mall, Glendale’s highest-performing bus routes, and complaints that the city’s buses are inconvenient to residents. 

Glendale’s transportation planner, Patrick Sage, introduced Valley Metro staff members who discussed the Glendale transit plan.

“I do just want to highlight the really good working relationship we have with Glendale transit and the Glendale transportation team,” said Joe Gregory of Valley Metro.

Gregory handed the microphone to Valley Metro co-worker Matthew Tauton, who presented several charts and maps of the transit service. Tauton’s maps contained the highest-performing routes and boarding locations in Glendale, with 67th Avenue being the highest.

“Another trend is that many of the other highest-performing routes in Glendale, there are some common themes to them,” Tauton said. “They typically intersect with other routes that operate frequently, especially light rail.”

His presentation showed Glendale is heavily dependent on Phoenix’s transit service. Tauton said, “Phoenix is the dominant provider in the region.”

Tauton presented a 10-question survey that was originally posted on the Glendale website between October 2019 and January 2020. The survey showed the predominant comment was the bus service was not close enough to people’s starting points. The survey also showed residents want more frequent service in Glendale. In the survey, respondents said they were open to the idea to expand/extend the local transit service. 

The presentation also listed Glendale Transit Service’s priorities. “First is to bring all the services in Glendale up to what is called the Transit Standard & Performance Measures, TSPM,” Tauton said.

The TSPM are the regional standards for transit service. It’s important to note most service meets TSPM standards on weekdays. 

 “We want to focus on improving existing service before adding substantial new service,” he said. 

Data taken from across the area shows there’s a greater investment on improving service. Other priorities also include making stronger connections with the city of Phoenix and regional transit nodes such as Metrocenter transit center or Desert Sky transit center.  

Javier Gurrola of Pavement Management and Street Reconstruction provided a monthly progress update on activities in Glendale. 

“Because of rain and cold weather, we have halted any service treatment that’s temperature sensitive,” Gurrola said.

According to Gurrola, due to weather conditions, Pavement Management had a slow January. In terms of expenditures, Gurrola said his department spent a little more than $200,000. 

Gurrola also reported more construction will begin in March and that Camelback Road, from 83rd Avenue to 91st Avenue, will undergo extensive renovation.