Vol. 15 Issue No. 4 | January 28 – February 3, 2009

Divergent views on transportation survey

By Curtis Riggs | January 28, 2009

Affordable trips to airport needed

DESERT FOOTHILLS – Answers to a transportation survey conducted last fall from Cave Creek and Carefree residents are all over the board concerning the need for public transportation in the Desert Foothills.

Seventy-two percent of the 674 people responding to the survey indicated they could not currently provide all of their own transportation.

Twenty-six of the people responding said public trans-portation was not appropriate for the two Desert Foothills communities and objected to using taxpayer money for public transportation. A common response theme was the area is not suitable for public transportation because of its semi-rural nature.

Co-sponsor of the survey, Carefree Town Councilman David Schwan said there is no great demand for immediate action on public trans-portation.

“But citizens do want us to consider looking at alter-native transportation in the future,” he said.

Cave Creek Town Councilman Tom McGuire, the other survey co-sponsor of the November survey, said he is “concerned about some citizens being unable to provide their own trans-portation” but does not see Cave Creek putting any money toward it.

He said a positive result of the survey is an increased awareness about the Foothills Caring Corps, which provides a mobile van service for senior citizens in need and people who have physical handicaps. The Caring Corps also operates a mobile meal service for its “neighbors.”

He said the two Desert Foothills communities are now “facing reality.” He commented on the unlikelihood of either community contributing to a public-transit effort other than support of the Caring Corps.

“I hope people’s needs are served by individual participation or by Caring Corps volunteers,” he said.

Caring Corps Director Debbra Determan said the Caring Corps does well serving the needs of people needing their services until the days when the van used for group trips is full. This has required them to try and get another van.

“We try to get to a niche group of the population we think we can serve,” she said about helping the elderly and younger people with physical handicaps.

One problem many in the area are facing, which was addressed in the survey, is the lack of affordable transportation to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. McGuire and Schwan are considering asking the Carefree-Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce to research available transportation alternatives to the airport.

Survey answer stories ranged from people with handicapped friends and relatives who are unable to provide their own transportation to people who were angered at the thought of spending taxpayer money on public transportation.