Surprise customers of Valley Metro’s RideChoice transportation program will soon see simplified ride booking and payment experiences, increased trip allowances, and an expanded provider network – including a new partnership with Lyft.
RideChoice provides transportation at a deeply discounted rate to qualified seniors and people with disabilities, and Valley Metro has chosen Surprise as an early rollout partner for their new, enhanced program.
Beginning October 1, the following RideChoice changes will go into effect for qualified residents of Surprise:
- Single phone number – Whether you are calling to request a trip, change or cancel a trip or check on a requested trip, you will call 602.716.2111. Representatives are available 24 hours per day, every day of the year, including holidays.
- Expanded provider network – The network will include many of the current taxicab providers, as well as more wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The popular rideshare service Lyft will also be joining the RideChoice program. This means more vehicles and quicker service.
- More trips – The monthly RideChoice limit increases from 16 to 20 RideChoice trips per month! AND for those of you who use RideChoice to get to work, school or medical appointments, the monthly limit increases from 40 to 50 trips per month.
- Simplified fare structure – The RideChoice fare is not changing, but the rules are getting easier. It’s $3 for each trip that is up to eight-miles long. And if your trip is longer, it’s just $2 for each additional mile.
- Cashless, cardless system – The RideChoice Fare Card is going away. Instead, you will simply provide a credit card, debit card or check routing number when you book your trip, and you are all set. There is no need to carry cash or a credit card when you travel.
These program enhancements come in response to customer feedback, and the city is excited to work with Valley Metro to deliver on what our residents told us was important to them and to move forward on an expedited timeline.
“Providing effective and dependable transit options for our residents is critical,” says Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “These program changes make the entire process, from booking to riding, quicker and easier. I believe this is a good step forward to better meeting the needs of our community.”
Councilman Skip Hall serves on the Valley Metro RPTA Board of Directors and adds, “We heard loud and clear that improvements were needed, so I am excited that Surprise will be the first city to roll out the new program. Our residents depend on these rides, and it’s important that the service is reliable and easy to use.”
Valley Metro, in partnership with Surprise, is contacting current RideChoice customers directly to inform them of the upcoming changes. Outreach will include:
- Riders in Surprise will receive an initial letter from Valley Metro introducing them to the new services in mid-September.
- The City and Valley Metro staff will host three public meetings in late September to discuss the changes and answer questions.
- Valley Metro will present an update to the Surprise City Council in an October City Council Work Session.
Customers currently enrolled in RideChoice will NOT need to re-enroll; eligibility will automatically transfer to the new program. They will continue to use their current RideChoice Fare Card and providers through Sunday, September 30. Anyone with unexpended funds on their current RideChoice account, will receive a check for the unspent balance by the end of October 2018.
Additional information about the service model changes, as well as public meetings dates, will be shared at surpriseaz.gov/transportation as it becomes available.
For questions about the RideChoice program, please contact Valley Metro at 602.716.2100.