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Green Commuting
By Nora Fascenelli
Jul 25, 2008, 20:48 PST

Goodyear, Arizona has implemented a new express bus to downtown Phoenix to save local commuters time and money, while saving the environment. The new bus service which begins on Monday, July 28, 2008 will save the average commuter 54 days of free time and over $500 every year.

Monthly passes cost less than $70, and commuters ride free during the first week of operation. There are three morning and three afternoon trips each day, and there is free parking at the temporary park-and-ride lot to begin with until the permanent free lot is completed in 2009.

“By taking the express bus into town, West Valley drivers save time, money and the environment,” said Goodyear City Manager John Fischbach. "When you crunch the numbers, it really pays to ride the bus. In the course of a year, a commuter would drive 2,200 fewer miles and could save $500 a year.”

The one-way trip takes about 50 minutes. That’s 8.3 hours of “free time” per week to read or relax. By the end of one year, express bus riders can score the equivalent of 54 full days of free time (8.3 hours x 52 weeks = 53.95 days).

The brand new buses run on Compressed Natural Gas, which costs less than diesel. The air conditioning system is built to handle hot desert climates, and runs on a refrigerant that does not harm upper atmosphere ozone. On-board GPS systems monitor driver and vehicle activity.

The new express route connecting Goodyear with downtown Phoenix costs about $470,000 annually to operate, and is funded by Proposition 400, passed by voters in 2004, but it will take hundreds of cars off the road during the to and from commute to work during the week. It is well worth the investment in the ecology of the Goodyear/Phoenix area. It's a great example of what cities can do to minimize the impact of growth in their areas, and with the cost of gas at all time highs, commuters will welcome the cost savings as well.

What Is The Ecology Impact?

By The Numbers - Per Commuter
  • 1.6 hours per day (50 minutes each way x 2)
  • 8.3 hours per week (more than a full work day)
  • 36 hours per month (nearly a week)
  • 433 hours per year
  • 54 days per year!

  • 37.3 miles, round trip
  • 186.5 miles per week
  • 2,238 miles per year
  • Gas - $4 per gallon
  • Mileage -16 mpg
  • Annual savings - $559.50

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