_MG_6121

Orbit Free Neighborhood Circulator Shuttle

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Orbit serves neighborhoods and connects people to local destinations such as shopping areas, other neighborhoods, major bus routes, schools and multi-generational centers for free. There are six Orbit routes: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. All routes operate seven days a week, 365 days a year with 15 minute frequency on most routes.

The Orbit routes use “flag” stops, which means that the driver will pick up and drop off passengers in neighborhoods as long as it's safe. Passengers should wave at the driver to let him or her know that they would like picked up. On major streets like Mill Avenue, University Drive and Broadway Road, designated bus stops should be used. To get off the bus in a neighborhood, passengers should pull the cord located near the windows. On major streets like Rural Road or Priest Drive, designated bus stop should be used.

No Stop Zone Policy: When 15 mph speed limit signs are posted in a school zone, the Orbit will not stop in between the signs. During all other times, the Orbit may stop within the school zone.

For Orbit complaints or suggestions, please call 602-253-5000 or email Valley Metro at csr@valleymetro.org.  

November 2019 Orbit Bus Public Feedback Process

Many of the existing light-duty “cutaway” style Orbit vehicles are approaching the end of their useful life, and replacement is scheduled incrementally over the next three years. Since these vehicles entered service in 2013, the City has encountered several operational challenges – including inadequate operating range necessitating mid-day refueling, poor mechanical reliability during the summer heat, and inadequate passenger capacity on certain routes. As a result, the City of Tempe and Valley Metro are soliciting responses from bus manufacturers to a Request for Proposal (RFP).PDF for replacement Orbit buses.  

Based on previous resident and rider feedback, the RFP specifies the following:

  • Alternatively-fueled vehicles
  • Minimum passenger capacity (seated and standing) of 30
  • Can accommodate up to three bikes
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • No longer than 32 feet
  • No taller than 11 feet, 6 inches
  • No wider than 8 feet, 5 inches
  • Vehicle subcomponents configured to reduce exterior noise pollution whenever possible
  • Consideration should be given to brake friction material, engine cooling fan system, air system purge valve selection, and air brake release valves (if equipped).

Public meetings to get additional feedback from the community about the desired type of bus were held Nov. 2 and Nov. 13, 2019. Read the Nov. 2019 public comments PDF. 

Both the light-duty and heavy-duty Orbit buses currently in operation were on hand for residents to use as a reference. (View bus specifications PDF.) This feedback will be provided to the selection panel reviewing the RFPs. Online comment was available Oct. 28 to Nov. 14, 2019. View the display boards from November 2019 public meetings PDF.

Staff are committed to selecting a suitable vehicle that will accomplish the City’s goals for Orbit service and resolve the system’s current operational challenges.

The Orbit routes use “flag” stops, which means that the driver will pick up and drop off passengers in neighborhoods as long as it's safe. Passengers should wave at the driver to let him or her know that they would like picked up. On major streets like Mill Avenue, University Drive and Broadway Road, designated bus stops should be used. To get off the bus in a neighborhood, passengers should pull the cord located near the windows. On major streets like Rural Road or Priest Drive, designated bus stop should be used.

No Stop Zone Policy: When 15 mph speed limit signs are posted in a school zone, the Orbit will not stop in between the signs. During all other times, the Orbit may stop within the school zone.

For Orbit complaints or suggestions, please call 602-253-5000 or email Valley Metro at csr@valleymetro.org.