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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Super Cool News: Why we love to hate the streetcar

    The+University+Boulevard+Sunlink+station+sits+empty%2C+except+for+those+seeking+shade%2C+on+Sunday%2C+April+17.+Although+the+streetcar+is+a+convenient+way+to+get+around+campus%2C+it+sometimes+has+its+problems.
    Tom Price
    The University Boulevard Sunlink station sits empty, except for those seeking shade, on Sunday, April 17. Although the streetcar is a convenient way to get around campus, it sometimes has it’s problems.


    Super Cool News is a new DailyWildcat.com feature that shares the, yes, coolest news happening around town and around the country. Try not to take what its writers have to say too literally.


    The Sun Link Tucson Modern Streetcar is convenient and fun to use. It provides students with an excellent mode of transportation to and from campus. With the two-year anniversary of the streetcar coming up in July, UA students are speaking out about why they love it so much.

    “I’d have to say my favorite thing about the streetcar is running out of the doors of my apartment complex to chase it down through the Fourth Avenue tunnel,” said history sophomore Reed Flowers. “With school being so stressful and mundane right now, running after the streetcar with my breakfast Hot Pocket still in hand gives me a much-needed adrenaline rush on my weekday mornings.”

    The streetcar has been a breeze for students and locals to use since its inception. The streetcar pay stations only give riders the option to purchase a four-dollar day pass, regardless of whether they plan to use it for more than one trip.

    The streetcar uses an electric trolley system that has permanent tracks laid down along a 3.9-mile route. Bicyclists now love the idea of riding alongside the streetcar.

    “It’s such a fun challenge to try and avoid the streetcar tracks while riding my bike through campus,” said environmental science sophomore Clarisa Avalos. “One time, I was returning home from the library late at night and I attempted to switch lanes to turn, but the streetcar tracks stopped that from happening. My wheel was trapped in the rail and I was thrown from my bike onto the asphalt. It actually hurt a lot and ruined my bike, but I can’t wait to look back and laugh about it.”

    Many students rely on the streetcar to commute to school from off-campus housing, but some students use it to get them through campus when they have plenty of time to kill. It can take around 20 minutes to get through Second Street, a distance that would normally take about 10 minutes walking during the peak traffic times.

    “Sometimes, when I have an hour between classes that are across campus, I like taking the streetcar,” said Craig Simmons, a junior studying Spanish. “Sure, walking would be much more efficient, but it’s all about the experience. The people watching is great. I especially like when students blatantly walk in front of a moving streetcar as if it’s not a 20-ton hunk of metal heading toward them.”

    The streetcar has become an integral part of the UA experience and students cherish the memories it has created.

    “Missing my exam because someone parked their pick-up truck on part of the streetcar tracks—now that’s a story,” Simmons said.


    Follow Sean Orth on Twitter.


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