12/14/2013 10:07:00 AM Editorial: Valley-wide deal puts 'service' in public transit
In the works for a year now, and under discussion much longer than that, the Yavapai-Apache Nation's transit system is about to go trans-valley next month.
Public transit in the Verde Valley has always been limited and has not always run smoothly. While Cottonwood and Sedona have been able to formulate their own systems and get them linked together, it's had ups and downs. Meanwhile, Camp Verde's closest approximation has been to call for a taxi.
The YAN's priority from the outset was a transportation link for its population centers in Camp Verde and Clarkdale, but tribal staff also saw an opportunity for cooperation with the surrounding communities through its own access to federal resources. Public transit was needed, and the YAN saw its ability to help.
Everyone, it turns out, wants to "better serve the Verde Valley."
Owning and operating a vehicle is an expensive proposition. For some, it is too dangerous. Many people in Camp Verde have difficulty getting to doctors and other services they need on the other side of the valley. All of this factored into the YAN's work with the municipalities and other organizations like Verde Valley Caregivers.
Even before the Verde Valley Multimodal Transportation Study of 2009, which did not spend a lot of time on transit, public transportation was recognized as an important aspect of "affordable living."
The agreement that comes before the Cottonwood City Council this week links up YAN transit with Cottonwood's CATS/LYNX bus system. A key aspect is that rates will coincide between CATS/LYNX and the YAN Public Transit Service and they will accept each other's transfers for no additional charge.
Camp Verdeans can ride to Cottonwood and then to Clarkdale or to Sedona with four round trips a day five days a week, possibly 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
With stops at the county court and jail complex off Cherry Road, it could also alleviate a troublesome transportation problem for car-less adjudicated folks coming and going without a ride.
As laid out, the valley-wide transit system is a sweet deal. It is also a great community service.