July 17, 2020
The Chandler City Council approved a first-mile, last-mile pilot program aimed at getting residents to and from bus stops easier and cheaper through a partnership with Lyft.
The one-year pilot program is set to begin in September. Residents will get 50% off the cost of Lyft trips to and from bus stops in the service area. This partnership will provide an extension of the transit reach in south Chandler, where bus service is more limited, while avoiding the costs associated with creating new bus routes, according to the city.
The total budget for the program is $49,000, according to documents from the city. The city will pay for the 50% discount on trips to and from bus stops south of Pecos Road, and the city's expected average cost per trip will be about $5 or $6, according to the city.
The cost to provide bus service to south Chandler, which is a lower-density, higher-income area of the city, would run the city between $3 million and $6 million annually.
"Months ago, as part of our mobility and transportation sub-committee, I asked our city staff to help us find innovative ways to increase usage for our multi-million dollar surface street bus lines," Council Member Mark Stewart wrote in a Facebook post. "We spend millions on these bus routes and they are rarely used. We should be finding ways to improve the ridership experience, service our existing users, improve efficiency and [save money]. ... This is innovation. This is Chandler."