The Regional Transportation Authority’s 20-year plan committed funds for additional evening, weekend and express bus services and streetcar services. RTA funds also go toward special needs transit for the elderly and people with disabilities, neighborhood circulator bus services available for all users, and park-and-ride transit centers.
RTA funds contribute to expanded Sun Tran service on weekday evenings and weekends, allowing people to access the public system more conveniently.
The Sun Express service, which was expanded considerably with RTA funding, provides express bus transportation from outlying areas across the region to work centers, such as downtown, the University of Arizona and Aero Park Drive, and integrates with the Sun Tran and Sun Shuttle systems.
The 3.9-mile Sun Link streetcar system in the City of Tucson was built with RTA funds, federal grants and local funds. The RTA continues to fund annual operations. The streetcar route encompasses five major urban districts, including the Mercado District on the west side, downtown Tucson, 4th 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. Some 100,000 people live and work within a 1-mile radius of the streetcar route.
The Sun Tran, Sun Express and Sun Link systems are managed by the City of Tucson.
The Sun Shuttle system operates 12 neighborhood circulator routes across the region with connections to the Sun Tran bus system. Sun Shuttle service is available for people of all ages and needs. Shuttles operate on scheduled routes to help commuters plan and make transfers to Sun Tran. The RTA contracts with Total Ride to operate the service.
Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride provides 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. The RTA contracts with Total Ride to operate this service.
Under the 2006-voter approved RTA plan, transit services will receive RTA funds through June 2026. An RTA citizens’ advisory committee is working to draft a new RTA plan and tax-funded budget for voter consideration. After drafting the plan and seeking broad-based public input, the committee will recommend a draft to the RTA Board. Upon approval of the plan, the board will set an election date.