After 17 years, RTA still delivers

It’s been nearly 17 years since voters in this community went to the polls and approved the Regional Transportation Authority plan and RTA sales tax.

The 20-year, $2 billion plan, funded through the countywide half-cent sales tax, has brought improvements from one end of Pima County and the Tucson metro region to another.

Whether it’s the iconic Sun Link streetcar, greatly expanded bus service, new paratransit services, hundreds of miles of bike lanes, or the many miles of expanded roadways, the voter-approved plan has helped to fundamentally change and improve our transportation network.

In the 17 years since voters approved the plan, the RTA, working with member jurisdictions, has completed more than 950 projects that improve the transportation network.

Among the RTA projects completed include:

  • 195 intersections
  • 78 pedestrian crossings
  • 139 bus pullouts
  • 179 miles of new sidewalks
  • 366 miles of new bike lanes
  • 18 roadway corridors

The RTA and regional partners also have partially completed work on 10 of the 17 remaining roadway corridors projects.

RTA, federal and local funds combined to construct the 3.9-mile Sun Link streetcar system in the City of Tucson. The streetcar route encompasses five major urban districts, including the Mercado District on the west side, downtown Tucson, Fourth Avenue, Main Gate Square and the University of Arizona, and UA Health Sciences campuses on the west end. Streetcar service is fully integrated with the Sun Tran bus system.

RTA funds also provide for expanded Sun Tran service on weekday evenings and weekends. The Sun Shuttle system, which operates 12 neighborhood circulator routes across the region with connections to the Sun Tran bus system, is also RTA-funded.

The RTA also funds Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride, door-to-door paratransit service to persons with disabilities living outside Tucson city limits or to City of Tucson residents needing to reach destinations outside city limits.

In total, more than 55% of all the RTA plan improvements to date (since 2006) are within the City of Tucson. Additionally, more than 62% of RTA transit offerings are to enhance transit services within the City of Tucson.

Learn more about what the RTA has completed in its 17-year history in our annual report.