Everything You Need to Know About the Streetcar
This fall, getting around campus will be a little easier thanks to the new Sun Link streetcar.
From driving safety to fares, we've rounded up all the need-to-know information, so you can be ready to try this new transportation mode.
RIDING THE STREETCAR
Where does the streetcar go?
The 3.9-mile streetcar route connects the main UA campus with the Arizona Health Sciences Center, Main Gate Square, Fourth Avenue, downtown Tucson and the Mercado District west of Interstate 10. Along the route, there are 23 stops that each feature map and fare information, along with ticket vending machines. Click here for a complete map of the route (PDF).
What are the streetcar's hours of operation?
The streetcar operates seven days a week, with varying arrival times:
- Monday-Wednesday: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. every 10 minutes; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. every 20 minutes
- Thursday-Friday: 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. every 10 minutes; 6 p.m.-10 p.m. every 20 minutes; 10 p.m.-2 a.m. every 30 minutes
- Saturday: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. every 20 minutes; 10 p.m.- 2 a.m. every 30 minutes.
- Sunday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. every 20 minutes
Where do I get a ticket?
There are no fare boxes on the Sun Link streetcar, unlike Sun Tran buses. Fares should be paid prior to boarding, as cash is not accepted once on board.
Streetcar riders are required to use a SunGO card or SunGO ticket, both of which can be purchased at ticket vending machines, online or by calling 520-792-9222 or 520-628-1565. Riders who use a SunGO card for the Sun Tran or Sun Shuttle can use the same card to ride the Sun Link streetcar.
Riders can purchase a SunGo ticket at the vending machines at each Sun Link streetcar stop. Vending machines accept Visa, MasterCard or cash, although exact change must be used.
How much do passes cost?
Ticket vending machines offer one-day SunGO tickets, good for 24 hours, for $4.
A one-way fare costs $1.50, although this option is not available for purchase at Sun Link ticket vending machines. One-way fares can be purchased online, by calling 520-792-9222 or 520-628-1565 or by loading your SunGO card with the appropriate amount.
Sun Tran extends an economy pass program for low-income riders, people 65 or older, Medicare cardholders and people with disabilities. Economy fare passengers pay 50 cents for a one-way fare, and are required to have a valid SunGO ID and SunGo card to pay the reduced rate. More information about the economy pass program is available here.
Children who are 5 years old and younger can ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
I got my ticket. Now what?
Use the rust-colored paint on the pavement at the streetcar stop as a guide of where to board, and wait for riders who are getting off the streetcar to exit before boarding.
Once on board, tap your SunGO card or SunGO ticket at a reader. There are four readers in every streetcar – near the center double doors, as well as the front and back of the streetcar. Tapping your card or ticket at a reader validates your fare. Inspectors may ensure fares are validated, and violators could face a fine or ticket.
How do I request a stop?
Press the yellow "Stop Request" bar.
Is the streetcar accessible for people with disabilities?
Every Sun Link streetcar stop is compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, and service animals are welcome to ride the streetcar with their handlers.
Those with disabilities who are unable to step up to board the streetcar should do the following:
- Use the yellow paint on the pavement at the streetcar stop as a guide of where to board.
- When the streetcar stops, push the blue accessibility button on the streetcar's exterior near the door.
- Doors will automatically open and a ramp will be triggered for boarding. There are designated areas for those with wheelchairs to ride.
- When you are ready to exit, just hit one of the interior blue accessibility buttons once the streetcar is stopped to trigger the exit ramp.
SAFETY TIPS FOR RIDERS, MOTORISTS, CYCLISTS AND PEDESTRIANS
With a new transportation mode in town, commuters will have how to learn to safely share the road with the Sun Link streetcar.
Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists should use extra caution when traveling along the streetcar route. Depending on how you get around, the following tips will help ensure you travel safely.
- If you've ridden your bike to the streetcar stop, dismount and roll it aboard the car. There are designated areas where you can stand with your bike.
- There is both sitting and standing room inside the streetcar. When standing, be sure to grasp an overhead rail, side rail, strap or seat back. Never lean against a door while riding.
- Never cross in front of the streetcar after getting off. Wait for it to leave the stop before crossing the street.
- If there is an emergency, push the emergency intercom button near the center doors to contact the Sun Link operator.
- The all-electric streetcar operates very quietly. Be aware of your surroundings and listen for the distinct "ding-ding" that lets you know the streetcar is approaching.
- Be careful when walking over the streetcar tracks to avoid tripping.
- Avoid getting high heels, canes and bike tires stuck in the tracks' gap.
- Use designated crosswalks to cross the street. Look both ways before crossing the street, and obey all traffic signals.
- Do not cross the street in front of a streetcar when it is at a stop. Wait for it to leave the stop before crossing the street.
- Click here to watch a video with more streetcar safety tips for pedestrians.
- Cross the streetcar tracks at as close to a 90-degree angle as possible. Avoid crossing the tracks at a narrow angle, which can cause bike tires to get stuck in the tracks.
- Avoid leaning into the turn when crossing the tracks. Stay as upright as possible.
- Use pavement markings along the road to know where to ride. Green "bike boxes" allow cyclists to make themselves more visible and make turns at intersections. Shared lane markings indicate where a lane is shared with bikes and vehicles.
- Avoid the "door zone." Leave enough space for parked cars to open their doors.
- Take special care when biking next to a moving streetcar and parked cars.
- Do not pass a streetcar when it is stopped. There could be pedestrians crossing in front of the streetcar that you cannot see.
- Click here to watch a video with more streetcar safety tips for cyclists.
- Be alert of the streetcar, pedestrians and cyclists at all times.
- Driving on the streetcar tracks is the safest way to share the road with the streetcar and will not damage your tires.
- Don't stop on green "bike boxes."
- When the streetcar stops, do not pass it. It is illegal and unsafe to pass a streetcar when it is stopped at a passenger stop.
- Be aware of transit-only signs, designating certain lanes for streetcars and buses only.
- When parking adjacent to the streetcar tracks, you must ensure your vehicle is within the marked white lines of the parking space. If it is parked incorrectly, it could be towed.
- When parked in a parallel parking space, open your car door with caution.
- Click here to watch a video with more streetcar safety tips for drivers.
For more information about the Sun Link streetcar, visit sunlinkstreetcar.com.