On October 1, Valley Metro will launch an enhanced RideChoice service for qualified participants in Surprise.
Currently, RideChoice offers qualified seniors and people with disabilities in Surprise up to forty taxi trips per month. The participant pays $3 for up to a $21 trip.
The redesigned RideChoice program will offer more service and more transportation options, including additional wheelchair-accessible vehicle providers and the popular rideshare service Lyft. At the outset, taxicab providers will not be available, but they will be added beginning in December. Eligible participants will receive up to fifty trips per month, with each trip costing $3 for up to eight miles and $2 for each mile above that.
According to a letter sent to current RideChoice customers in Surprise earlier this month, customers will be able to choose to remain in the current RideChoice program through November 30 or join the new program, beginning October 1. This approach will help ensure a smooth transition, and it will enable current customers to use the taxicab companies who are part of the current RideChoice program until it sunsets on November 30. At that time, any customers remaining in the old RideChoice program will be automatically transitioned to the new program. In addition, current RideChoice providers will have the opportunity to operate service for the new program.
Highlights of the New Program
As touted in the letter and brochure sent to Surprise RideChoice customers earlier this month, Valley Metro’s new RideChoice program will feature:
• 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 account and 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.
The Choice – Enrolling in the New Program or Waiting
Beginning October 1, current RideChoice customers who reside in Surprise can either remain in the current RideChoice program through November or enroll in the new program by calling Valley Metro at 602.716.2100. Once a customer is enrolled in the new program, Valley Metro will close the rider’s account in the old program, and will return any unexpended funds in the customer’s old RideChoice account.
Learn more about the service enhancements in Surprise from Valley Metro and city staff at one of the following open houses:
September 25: Benevilla, 16752 N Greasewood St., 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
September 26: Surprise City Hall- Community Room. 16000 N Civic Center Plaza, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Additional information about the service model changes 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.