The Valley Metro bus connects cities within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Looking to go to Scottsdale or Chandler from Tempe? Download the Valley Metro app on your phone and take the bus to get where you want to go. Out of all the transit in the Phoenix metropolitan area, the Valley Metro bus has the most extensive route coverage.

Using the Valley Metro bus, you can ride to pretty much any place in the Valley of the Sun. Get to know the local names for different parts of the Phoenix metro to help you get exactly where you need to go.

  • The East Valley is a common term that refers to Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Queen Creek, Gilbert, and sometimes Scottsdale. Culdesac Tempe is located in the East Valley.
  • The West Valley refers to the western part of Phoenix and beyond. Cities like Glendale, Surprise, and Peoria are in the West Valley.
  • The North Valley is not as commonly used but consists of cities northeast of Phoenix. Paradise Valley, Deer Valley, and Scottsdale are the North Valley.

Preparing for the ride

You can find any bus route via the Valley Metro system map. The Valley Metro app has a similar system map, except with the app, you give the desired destination, and the app will give you the best transit routes to get you there.

How do I ride the bus?

Once you know where you want to go, make your way to a bus stop that will take you to your destination. Try to get to the stop roughly 5 minutes before your bus arrives. When you see the bus stand up or wave it down to ensure the driver knows you want to ride.

Double-check that the bus you are getting on is the correct number. Every bus route has a designated number displayed on signs on the front and sides of the bus. Major stops and streets are announced over the intercom and display screens. When you are about a block away from your stop, pull the cord to alert the driver that you want to get off at the next stop.

How do I pay?

All Culdesac Tempe residents will have Valley Metro Platinum Passes which can be used on the entire Valley Metro system, including the Valley Metro buses. The fare collector is an orange box toward the front of the bus that you tap your platinum pass against to pay for your ride.

If you don't have a Platinum Pass, you can purchase a bus ticket at several Valley retailers, the Tempe Transit Store, or on the bus. A 1-ride ticket costs $2, and a 1-day ticket (which can also be used on the light rail) is $4. Make sure you have the exact change for your ticket. The bus will not give change.

Note that a 1-ride ticket purchased at the light rail station will only work on the light rail. You can buy a 1-day ticket at the light rail station, which will also work on the bus.

Loading Bikes onto the bus

You can bring your bike if you can mount it on the front of the bus! Remember that your bike must have a wheel diameter between 16"-29", and you will need to lift the entire frame about one and a half feet into the air to place the bike on the rack. No bike heavier than 55 pounds can be loaded onto the racks.

When loading your bike, pull the rack and squeeze the clamp. This will lower the rack and allow for bike storage.

Once your bike is on the rack, pull the hook out and away from the wheels of your bike. Lift the hook over your wheels, and release with the hook properly secured around your wheel.

When getting off the bus, exit at the front and make sure to let the driver know you want to grab the bike off the rack.

If there is an emergency, the driver can hear you call out for assistance. You can text Valley Metro directly at (602) 253-7886 to quickly alert the driver and local authorities of safety risks or maintenance issues. It's good to have the Valley Metro app to stay up-to-date on route closures and delays.

From one rider to another, I hope you enjoy the bus!