Sun Tran has received $12 million in federal funding to boost its electric bus fleet, and some of the new vehicles will be used for services provided by the Regional Transportation Authority.
The RTA runs the Sun Shuttle program, which serves the outer areas of the metropolitan region with shuttle connections to the main Sun Tran system. The Sun Shuttle services are either fixed routes or dial-a-ride scheduled services, depending on location.
Two of the 19 electric shuttles the City of Tucson and Sun Tran have received will be used for Sun Shuttle operations, and two will be used on a future fixed-route shuttle service along Sabino Canyon Road, providing access to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area and area employers such as Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Catalina Foothills School District, and the businesses at the intersection of Kolb Road and Sunrise Drive, as well as the Ventana Canyon trailhead. The service start date and schedule have yet to be determined.
The federal grant covers most of the cost, with matching funds provided by the Regional Transportation Authority. RTA funds come from a voter-approved half-cent sales (excise) tax, and those funds are used in part to operate Sun Shuttle services.