Six Phoenix area bands have written and recorded 11 original songs about how to use public transportation as part of a new community education effort to help residents try environmentally friendly modes of travel.
“Surveys and research revealed there was widespread unfamiliarity about how to use public transportation across greater Phoenix, and that was a barrier to giving the system a try,” says Mario Diaz, chief marketing officer at Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority. “So we asked local bands to record – in their own unique way – the various things you need to know in order to get out of your car and use public transportation instead.”
Each original creation describes a different aspect of using the Valley Metro system, such as how to buy fare, passenger courtesy, safety near train tracks and buses, or how one fare pass can be used on both bus and light rail. The 11 topics were selected based on common passenger questions at Valley Metro’s customer service line and from the top questions city transit departments receive. Participating local bands are: Black Carl, Captain Squeegee, Elvis Before Noon, Mills End, Peachcake, and What Laura Says.
Beginning in November, Valley Metro will release the songs one at a time on a monthly basis. Songs are set to animated video a la “School House Rock.” Videos will be available with other helpful information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at ValleyMetro.org/Notes.
“Riders and non-riders told us that they want their public transportation system to be friendly, progressive, and, most important of all, simple to understand and use,” Diaz added. “The new online videos teach the basics of using the public transit system in a fun, memorable way that can help more of us reduce air pollution, traffic congestion, and environmental waste.”
Bands say they were motivated to be part of the project to support the local community and, for some, for personal reasons.
“Growing up, I used the bus to get to music lessons, arts and crafts, everywhere. My mom didn’t let not having a car in Phoenix hold her back from enjoying the city with me,” says Danny Torgersen of the band Captain Squeegee. “I’m so excited that there’s an effort to involve music in public transit because music is one of the best ways to spread good ideas.”