Picture Rocks residents to get their first taste of public transportation

Sun Shuttle is expanding its offerings and will soon launch a pilot route to serve the Picture Rocks area for the first time.

A one-year Sun Shuttle pilot program will begin Oct. 24. Sun Shuttle is a neighborhood transit service funded by the Regional Transportation Authority through the voter-approved, 20-year regional transportation plan and sales tax through June 2026.

Transit planners are refining the schedule and frequency of the new Picture Rocks service based on public input.

Census data estimates at least 14% of the Picture Rocks population has unmet transportation needs.

Community members have expressed their desire for public transportation to provide access to important social and medical services, and as a way for residents without a vehicle to reach employment opportunities.

“The Regional Transportation Authority has listened to residents of Picture Rocks and their call for public transportation,” said RTA Executive Director Farhad Moghimi. “We are interested in working with the community through this pilot project to test the interest in using Sun Shuttle.”

The new Sun Shuttle pilot program will provide service to destinations such as a park-and-ride at the local Dollar General, Safeway, the Tucson Premium Outlets and connections to additional transit routes.

“This pilot program is part of our ongoing commitment to providing quality transit service throughout southern Arizona,” Moghimi said. “The shuttle service will be open to anyone, and it’s a great time to try this neighborhood transit option.”

Program managers will use the initial 12-month pilot program to assess the success of the service and evaluate how to best serve the area. Transit fares for the service will remain free through Dec. 31, 2022.