5 ways of getting around in Phoenix
Know Before You Go
A guide to Phoenix, Arizona by All-Ways Travel.
Ways of getting around in Phoenix Renting a car like a local The new Car Rental Facility for the Phoenix Airport is just west of the airport itself. National polls have shown that Phoenix is the 4th highest city in terms of surcharges in the nation. Car rental companies are required to add 29% (that’s twenty-nine percent!) to your bill to pay for this state of the art building. Take a cab to a local office of a car rental company. Do not tell them you are flying in. That way you are a “local rental” and do not have to pay some of the surcharges that are automatic if you rent at the car rental building at the airport. The surcharges finance everything from the local jails to the new Cardinals Stadium. The cab will likely be $25, but the surcharges for a $499 weekly rental will take your bill upwards of $650 and more. That cab looks a little cheaper now, doesn’t it? Alternatively, if you’re doing a tour of the Southwest, consider flying into Las Vegas and renting your car there — the taxes are much lower and doing a one-way drop off to Phoenix is generally not a problem. Phoenix is a very car-centered city. If you plan to stay or visit any of the cities on the periphery of the metro area, a rental car will likely be required. However, if you plan to stick to the Tempe-Downtown Phoenix area, the Light Rail is a viable option, with an all-day adult pass running roughly $3.50. Taxis are typically fairly easy to find in proximity to major Light-Rail stops and in popular areas, and will run you from $10-15 for a fairly local trip to well over $100 for a ride to a distant suburb. Surface roads are usually easy to navigate. The area’s roads are designed around a grid system, where most roads are numbered based on their distance from the city center. Addresses also conform to the numbering of the roads around them. Nearly all streets run with the compass directions, and there’s a major thoroughfare every mile in each direction. This also applies to the extended metro area, though addresses in places like Tempe and Mesa are not based on downtown Phoenix. There is an extensive network of freeways, most built since 1987. Note: Heavy construction on some segments and interchanges continues. Check construction schedules and closures in the local media. Drinking and driving laws are very heavily enforced in Phoenix, especially in Scottsdale and Tempe. Harsh DUI laws & police traps ensure you will most likely be pulled over during peak bar hours 11PM-2:30AM. Mandatory jail time and extremely heavy fines make drinking and driving a very unwise decision in Maricopa County. Valley Metro. Extensive metropolitan bus system, and light rail line. The light rail line runs from north-central Phoenix, along the Central Ave. corridor, through downtown, past the airport, and to Tempe and Mesa. One-ride or all day passes may be purchased at varying prices depending on service and location; but generally range from $0.85 to $7.25, with the highest being an all-day pass purchased on an Express Bus. Car rental is the most convenient form of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times. Car Hire Unlike most cities, in Phoenix you can get a sedan, SUV or even a limo to pick you up for about the same price as a cab.
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