History

Streetcar Downtown Tucson

 The Sun Link streetcar project is part of the $2.1 billion Regional Transportation Plan, approved by Pima County voters in May 2006. The project is funded by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and through federal and other regional funds. The City of Tucson and the RTA are co-managing the project.

Community Involvement - Since its inception, the Tucson Streetcar Project Team has sought community involvement and public input to help shape the course and direction of the project. A main component of this effort was the formation of a Community Liaison Group (CLG) made up of representatives of key stakeholder groups along the route alignment. The CLG was formed in 2004 and has been instrumental as part of the extensive community outreach campaign utilized to ensure widespread public awareness of the alternative transit options under consideration. 

Streetcar System – The fixed-guideway electric rail system will have eight ADA-compliant vehicles in operation, sharing a travel lane with other vehicles and will be compatible with street parking. The streetcars also will accommodate bicycles and have easy roll-on access for wheelchairs and strollers. The vehicles will stop at 18 points along the route.

Streetcar Frequency – The streetcar is expected to reach a stop every 10 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes during the evening.

Streetcar Cost and Funding Sources

In 2010, the City of Tucson was awarded a $63 million, Transportation and Infrastructure  Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).The modern streetcar project is a specific component of the RTA Plan, approved by voters in 2006. Federal funding and RTA funds are designated specifically for the streetcar project.

Federal funding sources

  • $63 million – TIGER Grant awarded in February 2010
  • $6 million – New Starts “Exempt” project  
  •   $4 million – FTA Grant (HPP)                

Local funding sources  

  • $75 million – Regional Transportation Authority            
  • $8.5 million – Public utilities (Water/Sewer)  
  • $4.1 million – TIP/PAG/Grants
  • $2.9 million – The Gadsden Company    

Other funding sources

  • $20 Million – City of Tucson Certificates of Participation/Grant Anticipation Notes 
  • $13 million – Luis G. Gutierrez (Cushing) Bridge