Sun Link is the streetcar system of Tuscon. It began service in July 2014. Spanning 3.9 miles, the system connects to various locations across Tuscon, including The University of Arizona, Downtown Tucson, and the Mercado public marketplace. The streetcar system is connected to Sun Tran, and uses a similar payment system.
The streetcar is part of the Regional Transportation Plan, voted in by Pima County in May 2006, with $2.1 billion in funding. Funding comes from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), along with other federal and local funds. As of now, the streetcar system is managed by the RTA and Tucson.
Construction began in April 2012, with the removal of roadways, relocation of utilities, and installation of the tracks and stops. The first phase involved construction East of the Tucson Convention Center. The second phase, beginning in November, involved the Western side of the convention center. Construction continued into October 2013.
The Luis G. Guiterrez bridge was constructed in 2012, in order to carry streetcar, automobile, bicycle and pedestrian traffic over the Santa Cruz river. The 320-foot bridge is an extension of Cushing street, between Avenida Del Convento and the I-10 frontage road, and connects the Convention Center and the Mercado. The bridge itself is named after former the Tucson city manager, and includes several pieces of public art by local architect Dave Dobler and Tucson artist Brenda Semanick.
There are eight streetcars total, six of them used at a time on the track. The cars were shipped in from United Streetcar, in Portland, Oregon.
How to Ride
Riders can purchase a 1-day SunGO ticket at a ticket machine, located at all stops. Tickets can be paid for with a card or cash; with cash it is recommended to use exact change, as the ticket machines currently cannot return change. A 1-day ticket costs $4.15, and will last for 24-hours starting when first activated to pay for a ride.
At a Sun Tran transit center, riders can purchase a 30-day SunGO ticket, a plastic SunGO card, or a SunGO ID and card. Riders can also reload their cards with cash or passes at a transit center. A 30-day ticket costs $45 + $.40 for new tickets. A full fare card costs $2 and can be continuously reloaded, lasting for about four years.
The types of passes available for a card are:
- 1-Day Pass - $3.75
- 30-Day Pass - $45
- 30-Day Express Pass - $60
- 30-Day Economy Pass - $18 (Only for Card and ID holders)
- Student Passes (through select universities and schools)
- UA Passes (purchased through the University of Arizona parking services)
Like tickets, cards and passes activate for their set period of time when they are first used. Passengers can also store up to $100 on their cards at a time, and deduct from that value whenever paying.
A SunGo ID and card is used for economy fare passengers. Seniors, low-income citizens, Medicare cardholders and disabled riders are eligible for economy fare, and can apply at the special services office (35 W. Alameda). After paying the $2 processing fee, the riders will have to re-apply for the economy fare every year if they are low-income, or every four years if they apply for other reasons.
U-Pass cards are only available for University of Arizona students, faculty and staff. Passes can be purchased for the Fall semester, or the entire academic year. Riders will have unlimited rides available, and The University of Arizona pays for 50% of the cost of transit fees.
Both cards and tickets can be used on Sun Link, Sun Tran and Sun Shuttle.
Other payment methods
Riders cannot pay with cash when boarding a Sun Link streetcar, only on Sun Tran. It is vital to purchase a ticket or card before boarding a Sun Link car.
Cards and tickets can be purchased online, but tickets can only be bought once and cannot be reloaded online. The free Go Tuscon mobile app can be downloaded to pay for transit.
Upon boarding, riders will have to tap their card or ticket on a validator, or meter, to pay. Validators are located near entrances/exits and the middle; a car typically has four validators.
Streetcars have seats and standing room for riders, and set areas for the disabled and elderly. Service animals are allowed on cars when with their handlers. Cyclists can fold up a specific section of seats, facing the doors, and store their bikes there. When getting ready to board, pedestrians are expected to stand on the rust-colored section of the platform. If a rider is unable to step up onto the car, there will be a yellow-colored section of the platform. Riders can press the blue button next to the door to release a ramp and open the doors.
|(Frequency of stops)||Monday-Wednesday||Thursday-Friday|
|7 AM - 9 AM||Every 15 minutes||Every 15 minutes|
|9 AM - 6 PM||Every 10 minutes||Every 10 minutes|
|6 PM - 10 PM||Every 15 minutes||Every 15 minutes|
|10 PM - 12 AM||No Service||Every 15 minutes|
|12 AM - 2 AM||No Service||Every 30 minutes|
|(Frequency of stops)||Saturday||Sunday|
|8 AM - 10 AM||Every 30 minutes||Every 30 minutes|
|10 AM - 6 PM||Every 15 minutes||Every 20 minutes|
|6 PM - 8 PM||Every 15 minutes||Every 30 minutes|
|8 PM - 12 AM||Every 15 minutes||No Service|
|12 AM - 2 AM||Every 30 minutes||No Service|
The streetcar route is divided into primarily five districts. Riders will be notified when entering and leaving districts and reaching stops. A timetable is available inside the cars.
|District||Stop # and Location||Nearby Locations|
|University||19, Hellen St. at Warren Ave.||Arizona Health Sciences Center|
|18, 2nd St. at Cherry Ave.||Hillenbrand Stadium, Arizona Stadium, McKale Center, Flandrau Science Center|
|17, 2nd St. & Highland Ave.||Ua Student Union Memorial Center|
|16, 2nd St. & Olive||Center for Creative Photography, UA Museum of Art, back end of Yuma Hall|
|Main Gate||15, University & Tyndall||Main Gate to the University of Arizona, Centennial Hall, Arizona State Museum|
|4th Avenue||14, University & 3rd Ave.||Rogue Theatre, Main Gate Village, Trinity Presbyterian Church|
|13, 4th Ave. & 5th St.||Sky Bar Tucson, Bank of America|
|12, 4th Ave. & 7th St.||Food Conspiracy Co-op, Caruso's|
|11, 4th Ave. & 9th St.||The Coronet, Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar, O'Malley's Bar and Grill|
|Downtown||10, Toole & 4th Ave. (eastbound)||Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, Rialto Theatre, Hotel Congress|
|9, Congress/Broadway & 6th Ave.||Ronstadt Transit Center, Children's Museum Tucson, Armory Park|
|8. Congress/Broadway & Stone||Fox Tuscon Theatre, Joel D. Valdez Main Library|
|7, Congress/Broadway & Church||Pima County Courthouse, Tucson City Hall, Tuscon Arena|
|6, Congress & Granada||Tuscon Music Hall, Tucson Museum of Art|
|5, Granada Ave. & Cushing St.||Tuscon Convention Center, Leo Rich Theatre, Museum of Contempoary Art|
|Mercado||3, Cushing & Frontage|
|2, Cushing and Convento (westbound)|
|1, Convento & Congress||Mercado San Augustin, El Rio Community Health Center|