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Turning Phoenix Green

March 16, 2010 by Tony Arranaga

Many cities have different ways of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  Boston has one of the largest parades, Chicago puts vegetable dye in the Chicago River and Savannah puts green dye in city fountains.  While Phoenix may not have an official celebration, we can certainly do our part to turn our city green, if not in color then in practice by using mass transit and alternative transportation.

People always ask me how I get around town while living carfree.  Here’s a list of the different modes of transportation I use in Downtown Phoenix.

METRO light rail – The 20 mile starter line plays a huge role in getting me around Central Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. You can either buy a month pass for $55 dollars, or buy a day pass for $3.50 depending on how often you plan on using the service. Information on how to ride can be found here.

Bike My vintage Schwinn cruiser helps me get around Downtown and beyond. Besides using a bike for short trips in the urban core, it also comes in handy when you need to go north or south of the light rail line to either grab a bite to eat or go shopping. Unfortunately, Downtown does not have bike rentals…yet….

Zipcar – The car sharing service is available at ASU‘s downtown campus. There are also Zipcar locations in Tempe and the West Valley.  Enterprise, which is located inside the Hyatt Hotel, also has hourly rates. However I’ve found that Zipcar is more competitively priced.  Information on the service and membership can be found here.

pedicabsPedicab – This mode of transportation is great when you have multiple places to visit in a night.  There are no set rates for the drivers, so tip generously!  How do you hail a pedicab?  A phone number and more information can be found here.

Taxi Discount Cab is my taxi of choice with their green fleet, however you have several options in the Downtown district.

Valley METRO looking to travel beyond Downtown?  Valley Metro bus service allows you to get to many places in the Valley.  Click here for more information.

Trolley and DASH both travel in the downtown area and operate mainly on weekeend nights.  These services are especially popular on First Friday’s, the monthly art walk in Downtown.  More information can be found here.

Of course, walking is always a great option. You may even see me every now and then on my longboard.

Using these modes of transportation are not only good for clearing the air and reducing congestion, but they also help a person get better acquainted with the city. Enjoy the ride!



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