Phoenix is spread out, and distances between places of interest to visitors tend to be significant; therefore, outside of the downtown area, a rental car is ideal. However, the METRO light rail, which started operating in 2008, is already the 12th busiest light rail system in the country, and has made getting around much easier for visitors. Adult fares start at $2 and tickets can be purchased from vending machines at all stations. There is also a free central city shuttle bus service, called DASH (Downtown Area Shuttle), which is useful for accessing attractions like the state capitol and major shopping malls. The buses run on weekdays between 6.30am and 5.30pm. The city's bus service is called Valley Metro, and schedules are available from the Central Station and Frys supermarkets. Taxis are freely available from local companies but tend to be expensive and are not recommended for getting around, unless for a short trip within a limited area.
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