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Residents and visitors will no longer see a blue and purple RoadRunner jetting about Sedona.

The days of the Sedona RoadRunner public transit came to a close Sunday, June 5.

I remember writing stories about the RoadRunner before the first trolley rolled into Uptown.

The thought of visitors and residents easily making their way through the business district without creating traffic or parking problems excited many Sedona City Council members, residents and business owners. Transit is green and people in Sedona do try to make environmentally friendly decisions.

The RoadRunner, however, did not survive.

The problem wasn’t the concept of bringing public transportation to Sedona.

The Verde Lynx, which began operation a few years later, is doing quite well and, in fact, recently reported doubling its ridership numbers.

The RoadRunner went wrong with its service plan.

The main function of the RoadRunner became shuttling tourists from Uptown to Hillside Sedona. The intent was to increase foot traffic while keeping vehicle traffic down.

The RoadRunner circled its route approximately every 10 minutes, and many of us often saw either an empty trolley or one transporting only a few passengers.

Visitors didn’t use it for a number of reasons. Many weren’t in town long enough to learn the system and others simply chose to walk.

Prior to the completion of the State Route 179 improvement project, narrow or nonexistent sidewalks made walking between Uptown and Hillside Sedona unappealing. The project converted the business district into an inviting, pedestrian-friendly area making a short-distance shuttle unnecessary.

Residents didn’t ride the RoadRunner because it didn’t take them far enough. Some would hop on at the few West Sedona stops the trolley made on its way to Uptown in the morning, but it wasn’t a regular service.

The Verde Lynx, however, proves the right service plan can be successful in a rural area.

The Lynx’s plan is aimed at residents who have time to learn the schedules and use the service on a regular basis.

The system currently shuttles people between Cottonwood and Sedona, and it shouldn’t stop there.

Hopefully, with the end of the RoadRunner, city staff and the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority will redirect their energies to expanding the Lynx. Start with the Village of Oak Creek and work from there.

I’m sure Camp Verde wouldn’t mind being added to the list with service between it and Cottonwood.

The Lynx has the potential to link the entire Verde Valley.


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  • Ziggy

    Not so sure "jetting about" would be the best description. More like "lurching about, empty and forlorn".<br /><br />I thought one major problem was the design of the vehicles themselves. Too closed in. Didn't look appealing from the outside. <br /><br />Should've been more like the commercial trolley, open air on nice days. More fun to ride around in, and better shows off Sedona's spectacular beauty. If that was the type of vehicle from the get-go, maybe we'd have seen a different result.

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