The city of Chandler begins a new partnership with Lyft on Sept. 1 in which the city will provide up to 50% off rides to and from designated bus stops south of Pecos Road.

The partnership, dubbed the First-Mile, Last-Mile program, is an effort to expand public transit access in an area of Chandler with limited availability while avoiding the cost of adding new bus routes, according to a news release from the city.

“Our partnership with Lyft offers a cost effective and innovative solution to the fiscal challenges we face for extending bus routes further into south Chandler,” said Jason Crampton, the city's transportation planning supervisor, in the release. He noted that expanding bus routes into the area could cost the City as much as $900,000 annually. “First-Mile, Last-Mile may prove to be much more cost effective for taxpayers and more convenient for many residents.”

South Chandler residents currently have access to 54 Valley Metro bus stops south of Pecos Road, which are served by three bus routes with limited service south of Pecos Road, according to the city.

Whether leaving from their home or another south Chandler location, First-Mile, Last-Mile participants' in-route or inbound rides must end within a quarter of a mile of one of the designated bus stops, according to the city. A returning or outbound ride to their home or another south Chandler location must start within a quarter of a mile of a designated bus stop and end within the city limits south of Pecos Road. Lyft and the city have identified multiple transfer points in proximity to bus routes 96, 112 and 136, according to the city.

Chandler transportation staff estimated that the city’s average cost per trip will be $5-$6, according to the city.

“This public-private partnership with Lyft is a great example of how we are implementing the guiding principles of our Strategic Plan, such as improving mobility for our residents and investing in innovative solutions to the challenges we face,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said in a news release. “First-Mile, Last-Mile has the potential to benefit many of our residents who are unable to drive, who have physical limitations, or those who just want more convenient transportation options.”