Dial-A-Ride customer Hilda Moreno. Photo: Phoenix DOT

Dial-A-Ride customer Hilda Moreno. Photo: Phoenix DOT

The Phoenix Public Transit Department is offering a new overflow service to enhance the city's Dial-a-Ride (DAR) paratransit service. In preparation for the new DAR service expansion, Phoenix Transit approved a partnership between its Dial-a-Ride contractor MV Transportation and their subcontractor Discount Cab to provide overflow service during the regular service day.

The new service began mid-November and now if unforeseen situations occur such as a driver calling out, a vehicle breaking down, or there are just too many trips requested within a certain time period, riders can still catch a ride at their desired time.

The overflow service, used at the discretion of MV Transportation, is especially helpful during peak times such as 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. when most riders are likely to schedule trips, according to the agency.

From the rider’s perspective, the process is seamless as the coordination of the overflow service is handled behind the scenes, without the customer having to call a different number or having to deal with a different dispatcher.

“Phoenix Dial-a-Ride has been there for me for the past 19 years. I’m blind and I use it to get to my Spanish interpreter job, appointments and wherever I need to go. It means a lot that they’re working to make it better,” says long-time Dial-a-Ride passenger Hilda Moreno.

Services for Phoenix Dial-a-Ride had an almost four percent increase from 336,000 boardings in Fiscal Year 2015 to 348,500 boardings in FY 2016.

“We’re excited about this partnership that supplements passenger trips on Discount Cab because we are fully committed to providing safe and efficient service that our riders expect from Phoenix Dial-a-Ride,” says MV Transportation Operations Manager Kenneth Ming.

Three more hours of bus and Dial-a-Ride service every day of the week are part of the  voter-approved Transportation 2050 (T2050) plan service expansion. Service will be bolstered even more once fixed-route bus and Dial-a-Ride match light rail hours in April 2017, according to agency officials.