Sun Link

Last updated
Sun Link
Sun Link logo.svg
Tucson Sun Link streetcar at 5th & Congress (2014).jpg
Type Streetcar
Locale Tucson, Arizona, United States
Coordinates 32°13′40″N110°57′56″W / 32.2277°N 110.9656°W / 32.2277; -110.9656
Termini Arizona Health Sciences Center
Mercado District
Stations21 (17 per direction)
Daily ridership2,613 [1]
OpenedJuly 25, 2014 [2] [3]
OwnerCity of Tucson
Operator(s) RATP Dev
Rolling stock United Streetcar 200 (8 cars) [4] [5]
Line length3.9 miles (6.3 km) [6]
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification (V?) DC overhead wire
Route diagram
BSicon uENDEa.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
Helen & Warren
BSicon uSKRZ-G4u.svg
Speedway Blvd.
BSicon uHST.svg
2nd St. & Cherry
BSicon uHST.svg
2nd St. & Highland
BSicon uHST.svg
2nd St. & Olive
BSicon uHST.svg
University & Tyndall
BSicon uHST.svg
University & 3rd Ave.
BSicon uHST.svg
4th Ave. & 5th St.
BSicon uHST.svg
4th Ave. & 7th St.
BSicon ulBST.svg
BSicon unKSTRaq.svg
BSicon unSTR+r.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Maintenance & Operations
BSicon uHST.svg
4th Ave. & 9th St.
BSicon dCONTgq.svg
BSicon dBHFq.svg
BSicon umKRZu.svg
BSicon CONTfq.svg
BSicon uBS2+l.svg
BSicon uBS2+r.svg
BSicon uSTRf.svg
BSicon uBHF(L)g.svg
Toole & 4th Ave.
BSicon uSTRf.svg
BSicon unSTRl.svg
BSicon uSTRg.svg
BSicon unSTRr.svg
BSicon uBHF(L)f.svg
BSicon uBHF(L)g.svg
Congress/Broadway & 6th Ave.
BSicon uBHF(L)f.svg
BSicon uBHF(L)g.svg
Congress/Broadway & Stone
BSicon uBHF(L)f.svg
BSicon uBHF(L)g.svg
Congress/Broadway & Church
BSicon uBS2l.svg
BSicon uBS2r.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
Congress & Granada
BSicon uHST.svg
Granada & Cushing
BSicon uSKRZ-G4h.svg
BSicon uHST.svg
Cushing & Frontage
BSicon uhKRZWae.svg
BSicon uBS2+l.svg
BSicon uBS2+r.svg
BSicon uSTRg.svg
BSicon uBHF(R)f.svg
Cushing & Convento
BSicon uSTRg.svg
BSicon uBHF(R)f.svg
Convento & Congress
BSicon uSTRg.svg
BSicon uBHF(R)f.svg
Linda & Cushing
BSicon uSTRl.svg
BSicon uSTRr.svg

Source: Sun Link Route Map [7]

Sun Link, also known as the Tucson Streetcar, is a single-line streetcar system in Tucson, Arizona, United States, that began service in July 2014. [2] [3] [8] The system's 3.9-mile (6.3 km) route connects the Arizona Health Sciences Center (including University Medical Center), the University of Arizona campus, the Main Gate and 4th Avenue shopping and entertainment districts, downtown Tucson, the Tucson Convention Center, and the Mercado District under development west of Interstate 10. [6] [9] The streetcar project's overall cost of $196 million was met through a combination of local funding sources and federal grants. [10] [11] The streetcar shares a common payment system with the Sun Tran regional bus service. [12]

Tucson, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Tucson is a city and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States, and home to the University of Arizona. The 2010 United States Census put the population at 520,116, while the 2015 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was 980,263. The Tucson MSA forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area (CSA), with a total population of 1,010,025 as of the 2010 Census. Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, both of which anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor. The city is 108 miles (174 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the U.S.–Mexico border. Tucson is the 33rd largest city and the 58th largest metropolitan area in the United States (2014).

University of Arizona Public university in Tucson, Arizona, United States

The University of Arizona is a public research university in Tucson, Arizona. Founded in 1885, the UA was the first university in the Arizona Territory. As of 2017, the university enrolls 44,831 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers. The University of Arizona is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The University of Arizona is one of the elected members of the Association of American Universities and is the only representative from the state of Arizona to this group.

Tucson Convention Center convention center

The Tucson Convention Center is a large multi-purpose convention center located in downtown Tucson, Arizona. Built in 1971, the location includes an 8,962-seat indoor arena, two performing arts venues, and 205,000 square feet (19,000 m2) of meeting space. The complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.



In May 2006 Pima County voters approved a $2.1 billion, 20-year regional transportation plan which included $75 million toward construction of a modern streetcar and an additional $12.7 million toward its operation.[ citation needed ] In December 2010, a $63 million federal TIGER grant was awarded to the City of Tucson, meeting most of the remaining funding gap and allowing the project to move forward. An additional $6 million of federal funding was obtained through the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program. Funding also came from utilities for relocation and improvements along the streetcar route, most significantly $10.6 million from Tucson Water. [11] [13]

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) is a supplementary discretionary grant program included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The legislation provided $1.5 billion for a National Surface Transportation System through September 30, 2011, "to be awarded on a competitive basis for capital investments in surface transportation projects".

Federal Transit Administration

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) that provides financial and technical assistance to local public transportation systems. The FTA is one of ten modal administrations within the DOT. Headed by an Administrator who is appointed by the President of the United States, the FTA functions through a Washington, D.C., headquarters office and ten regional offices which assist transit agencies in all states, the District of Columbia, and the territories. Until 1991, it was known as the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA).


Sun Link streetcar stop Tucson May 2019 40 (Sun Link streetcar stop).jpg
Sun Link streetcar stop

A $56 million contract for removal of existing roadway, utility relocation, installation of track, resurfacing, and construction of the system's 21 covered, accessible stops was awarded to Old Pueblo Trackworks, a joint venture of Granite Construction and RailWorks Track Systems, in March 2012. [14] Construction began in April 2012 and continued through summer 2013. [15] The first phase addressed straight sections of the route east of the Congress and Granada stop and required rolling closures of sections of Congress Street, Broadway Boulevard, 4th Avenue, University Boulevard, 2nd Street, the Warren Avenue underpass, and Helen Street. [16] Phase two began in November 2012 and included all work west of the convention center, corner sections requiring fabrication of curved track elements, and additional work on Broadway and the Warren underpass. [9]

Accessibility The design of products or services for people with temporary or permanent impairments

Accessibility is the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design and practice of accessible development ensures both "direct access" and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's assistive technology.

Granite Construction Inc. is a member of the S&P 400 Index based in Watsonville, California, and is the parent corporation of Granite Construction Company, a heavy civil general contractor and construction material producer.

A 320-foot (98 m) bridge across the Santa Cruz serving streetcar, automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic was constructed in 2012 under a separate contract. Named for former Tucson city manager Luis G. Gutierrez, the bridge extends Cushing Street from the I-10 frontage road to Avenida del Convento, providing a link between the Tucson Convention Center and the Mercado District. [17]

Santa Cruz River (Arizona) river in the United States of America

The Santa Cruz River is a river in Southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. It is approximately 184 miles (296 km) long.

Construction of the Sun Link Operations & Maintenance Facility, an $8 million depot centered on the system route at 5th Avenue and 8th Street, began in May 2012. [10] [18] A public open house celebrating its completion and delivery of the first streetcar's delivery was held on September 6, 2013, with speeches from officials including Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild and state senator Steve Farley, a longtime advocate of the streetcar. [19] [20]

Jonathan Rothschild American lawyer and politician

Jonathan Rothschild is an American lawyer and politician in his second term as mayor of Tucson, Arizona. From 2001 to 2011 Rothschild was managing partner of the law firm Mesch, Clark & Rothschild. He has also been an adjunct assistant professor of the University of Arizona College of Law and a past chair of the State Bar of Arizona's Committee on Examinations. He has served as treasurer of the Pima County Democratic Party.

Steve Farley American politician and a state senator from Arizona

Steve Farley is an American politician, artist, and graphic designer who previously served as a State Senator from Arizona, including serving in the capacity of assistant minority leader. He also served previously in the Arizona House of Representatives. He is a member of the Democratic Party.


A Tucson Sun Link streetcar at the 3rd and University station. Tucson sun link testing phase dec 24 2013.jpg
A Tucson Sun Link streetcar at the 3rd and University station.

Sun Link maintains a fleet of eight United Streetcar 200s, using up to six cars at once. The streetcar is 66 feet 1 inch (20.13 m) long, double-ended (bi-directional), and articulated into three sections. Its center section floor is at platform height for accessibility with two double-door entrances on each side. Each side has a third passenger door located behind the operator cab. Propulsion is provided by four 90 kW motors drawing power via pantograph from an overhead wire. The streetcar has a maximum speed of 43.5 mph (70 km/h) and a capacity of 156 passengers (29 seated and 127 standing). [21]

United Streetcar, LLC, was an American manufacturer of modern streetcars, located in the Clackamas area in the southeastern suburbs of Portland, Oregon, founded in 2005. It was the only U.S. company building modern streetcars—as distinct from light rail cars or new replicas of historic streetcars—until 2013, when Brookville received its first order for a modern streetcar, for the Dallas Streetcar.

Bi-directional vehicle

A bi-directional vehicle is a vehicle that can be driven in either direction, forwards or backwards. Usually, the term refers to rail vehicles, such as trains or trams, that are equipped with operating cabs at both ends. These vehicles generally have entry and exit doors on either side of the vehicle.

Articulated vehicle vehicle which has a pivoting joint in its construction

An articulated vehicle is a vehicle which has a permanent or semi-permanent pivot joint in its construction, allowing the vehicle to turn more sharply. There are many kinds of articulated vehicles, from heavy equipment to buses, trams and trains. Steam locomotives were sometimes articulated in that the driving wheels could pivot around.

The United 200 is largely identical to the 100 model produced for systems in Portland and Washington, D.C., the only major difference being that the 200 is equipped with upgraded air-conditioning. [21] The design of the 100 model itself is based on the Czech-made Škoda 10 T. [22]

Tucson placed a $26 million order with United for seven cars in June 2010. [4] An eighth was ordered for an additional $3.6 million in July 2012 in order to satisfy FTA requirements for a second spare. [5] United's first model 200 car arrived in Tucson by flatbed truck on August 30, 2013. [23] Delays in streetcar production pushed Sun Link's projected start of service from a forecast of late 2013 as of the start of construction to July 2014. [10] [11] Tucson officials notified United Streetcar in May 2013 of their intention to assess contractual damages for late delivery. [24] [25] United's parent company, Vigor Works, formerly Oregon Iron Works, settled with the city in 2016 for $1.7 million to be paid in additional parts and labor. [26]


Sun Link streetcar Tucson May 2019 35 (Sun Link streetcar).jpg
Sun Link streetcar
Headway in minutes [27]

Weekday service runs every ten minutes during peak hours and every fifteen minutes mornings and evenings. Saturday morning and Sunday service runs every twenty or thirty minutes. [28] Half-hour late-night service provided only while the University of Arizona is in session runs through 2am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. [29] [28] Travel time from one end of the line to the other is approximately 30 minutes. [30]

One-way fare is $1.75, and includes transfer to connecting Sun Tran busses. A SunGO pass or fare card, available at the Ronstadt Transit Center, online, and at various retail locations, must be purchased prior to boarding; payment is not accepted by Sun Link drivers. 24-hour passes are available for $4.50 from ticket vending machines located on all Sun Link platforms, payable either in exact change or by credit. Passengers record payment by placing fare cards on electronic validators after boarding. [12]

North of the Warren Avenue stop, the streetcar passes under Speedway Boulevard on a single-track line in a dedicated right of way. After reaching its northern terminus at Helen, the car reverses direction. In all but one or two other places along the route, the streetcar operates with traffic. [31]


Districts, connections, & destinations
University Wheelchair symbol.svg Warren Avenue & Helen Street
BSicon BUS2.svg Sun Tran: 4, 5, 15 [32]
BSicon BUS2.svg Cat Tran: Purple, Green [33]
Arizona Health Sciences Center
Warren Avenue Underpass
Wheelchair symbol.svg 2nd Street & Cherry Avenue
BSicon BICYCLE.svg University Bike Blvd. [34]
BSicon BUS2.svg Cat Tran: Mountain
Hillenbrand Stadium, Flandrau Science Center, McKale Center, Arizona Stadium
Wheelchair symbol.svg 2nd Street & Highland Avenue
BSicon BICYCLE.svg Mountain Avenue Bikeway
BSicon PARKING.svg 2nd St. [35]
UA Student Union Memorial Center
Wheelchair symbol.svg 2nd Street & Olive Road
BSicon BUS2.svg Cat Tran: USA, Inner Campus
BSicon PARKING.svg Park Avenue
Center for Creative Photography, UA Museum of Art
Wheelchair symbol.svg University Boulevard & Tyndall Avenue
BSicon BUS2.svg Sun Tran: 1, 6
BSicon PARKING.svg Main Gate, Tyndall Avenue
Centennial Hall, Arizona Historical Society, Arizona State Museum
Wheelchair symbol.svg University Boulevard & 3rd Avenue
BSicon BICYCLE.svg University Bike BoulevardRogue Theatre
Wheelchair symbol.svg 4th Avenue & 4th/5th Streets
BSicon BICYCLE.svg 4th Avenue Bike Blvd.
Wheelchair symbol.svg 4th Avenue & 6th/7th Streets
BSicon BUS2.svg Sun Tran: 3
Wheelchair symbol.svg 4th Avenue & 9th Streets
BSicon BICYCLE.svg Golf Links-Aviation Path
4th Avenue Underpass
Downtown Wheelchair symbol.svg Plaza Centro (eastbound only) BSicon PARKING.svg Centro Rialto Theatre, Historic Tucson Depot, Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, Hotel Congress
Wheelchair symbol.svg Broadway Boulevard & 6th Avenue (eastbound)
Congress Street & 6th Avenue (westbound)
BSicon BUS2.svg Sun Tran: 1-4, 6-8, 10, 12, 16, 18, 19, 21-23, 25, 421
BSicon BUS2.svg Sun Express: 102, 103, 105, 107, 109, 110
BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak: Sunset Ltd., Texas Eagle [35]
BSicon PARKING.svg Depot Plaza, Pennington St.
Ronstadt Transit Center, Children's Museum Tucson, Armory Park
Wheelchair symbol.svg Broadway Boulevard & Stone Avenue (eastbound)
Congress Street & Stone Avenue (westbound) 
BSicon PARKING.svg Main Library Fox Tucson Theatre, Saint Augustine Cathedral, Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Downtown History Museum, Scottish Rite Cathedral, Temple of Music and Art
Wheelchair symbol.svg Congress/Broadway Boulevard & Church Avenue (eastbound)
Congress Street & Church Avenue (westbound)
BSicon BUS2.svg Sun Tran: 1, 2, 6-8, 12, 21, 22, 25 Pima County Courthouse, Presidio San Augustin del Tucson, Tucson City Hall, Tucson Arena, Leo Rich Theatre
Wheelchair symbol.svg Congress/Broadway Boulevard & Granada Avenue (eastbound)
Congress Street & Granada Avenue (westbound)
BSicon BUS2.svg Sun Express: 101, 102, 104, 108, 110
BSicon PARKING.svg Hotel Arizona, City/State
Tucson Music Hall, Sosa-Carrillo-Fremont House, DeConcini Federal Courthouse, Tucson Museum of Art
Wheelchair symbol.svg Granada Avenue & Cushing Street
BSicon BICYCLE.svg Liberty-10th Avenue Bikeway
Greyhound no dog.svg Greyhound [35]
Centro other car parking large.svg Tucson Convention Center surface lots
Tucson Convention Center
Interstate 10 Underpass
Mercado Wheelchair symbol.svg Cushing Street & Frontage Road
BSicon BICYCLE.svg The Loop (Santa Cruz River Park)
Luis Gurierrez Bridge
Wheelchair symbol.svg Cushing Street & [Avenida del] Convento (westbound)
Wheelchair symbol.svg Convento & Congress Street
BSicon BUS2.svg Sun Tran: 21, 22Mercado San Augustin, El Rio Community Health Center
Wheelchair symbol.svg Linda Avenue & Cushing Street

Stops listed from east to west; district names and coloration taken from official Sun Link routemap. [36]

See also

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  1. Sun Link Monthly Operations Report - March 2018
  2. 1 2 "Tucson Streetcar Debuts to Crowds, Hot Weather". Arizona Public Media. Arizona Board of Regents. July 25, 2014. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  3. 1 2 Taylor, Rebecca (July 26, 2014). "'Tremendous' opening day for Sun Link Streetcar". KVOA . Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Tucson to United Streetcar: Build seven". Railway Age . June 8, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  5. 1 2 DaRonco, Darren (July 13, 2012). "Backup streetcar to cost Tucson $3.6M". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  6. 1 2 "Why do we need a streetcar? – The streetcar route". Sun Link Tucson Streetcar. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  7. "Sun Link Route Map". Sun Link. July 3, 2018.
  8. "Tucson Envisions The Sun Link". Forbes . June 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  9. 1 2 Barnes, Bethany (March 7, 2012). "Streetcar construction starts in April; here's what you need to know". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  10. 1 2 3 "FTA Quarterly Review - March 2013" (pdf). Sun Link. March 28, 2013. p. 10.
  11. 1 2 3 Vitu, Teya. "Streetcar Construction Will Start in Late April", Downtown Tucsonan, March, 2012. Retrieved on April 30, 2012.
  12. 1 2 "SunGO Fare Payment, General Information". Sun Tran. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  13. O'Dell, Rob (December 29, 2010). "US grants Tucson $63M for streetcar". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  14. Bowen, Douglas John (March 30, 2012). "Joint venture awarded Tucson streetcar contract". Railway Age. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  15. Seberger, Will (April 12, 2012). "City breaks ground on Modern Streetcar". Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  16. Jackman, Janet Rose (April 9, 2012). "City to celebrate streetcar as Congress St. closes". Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  17. Pallack, Becky (September 8, 2012). "Bridge art spotlights history". Arizona Daily Star.
  18. Vitu, Teya (October 2011). "4th Avenue Open During Storm Drainage Work". Downtown Tucsonan. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  19. Ferguson, Joe (September 4, 2013). "Streetcar "celebration" set for Friday". Arizona Daily Star.
  20. Salzwedel, Sam (September 6, 2013). "Hundreds see official unveiling of Streetcar and facility". KVOA . Archived from the original on September 9, 2013.
  21. 1 2 "United Streetcar Options". United Streetcar. Archived from the original on September 2, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  22. Schmidt, Brad (April 20, 2013). "Oregon streetcars: Money flows despite missed deadlines, cost overruns". The Oregonian.
  23. "Truck delivers first new streetcar to Tucson from Ore. manufacturing plant; total of 8 planned". The Republic. Associated Press. August 30, 2013. Archived from the original on September 5, 2013.
  24. DaRonco, Darren (May 7, 2013). "Assess penalties for late streetcars now, some council members say". Arizona Daily Star.
  25. Benito, Marcelino (May 1, 2013). "Cashing in: Streetcar delays could deliver dollars to City of Tucson". KGUN-TV . Archived from the original on May 5, 2013.
  26. Pallack, Becky (February 11, 2016). "Tucson gets $1.7M — in parts and labor — for streetcar delays". Arizona Daily Star.
  27. "Schedule and Fares". Sun Link. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  28. 1 2 Smith, Dylan (Jan 19, 2015). "Sun Link streetcar schedule shifts". Tucson Sentinel.
  29. Reimer, Lauren (May 5, 2016). "Streetcar hours to be reduced by eight hours a week". News 4 Tucson.
  30. "Sun Link Streetcar route approximate timetable". Sun Link. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  31. "Warren Underpass Near UA Campus Reopens to Pedestrians". UANews. December 9, 2013.
  32. "Sun Tran System-Wide Transit Map" (PDF). Sun Tran. August 2017. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  33. "Cat Tran 2015-16 Map" (PDF). University of Arizona. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  34. "Pima County regional bike map" (PDF). Pima County. February 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  35. 1 2 3 "Parking and streetcar map" (PDF). City of Tucson. October 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  36. "System Map". Sun Link. August 2014.

Route map:

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