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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA Notebook 04/19: Senate asks UA to contribute $3M to keep Sun Link free

Jasmine Ma
Want an inside look at the University of Arizona’s student government? Read the Daily Wildcat’s Associated Students of the University of Arizona notebooks, which recap the ASUA Senate’s weekly meetings.

In its last senate meeting of the semester, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona passed a resolution to continue advocacy for fare-free transit.

Senate resolution #S5005 calls on the University of Arizona administration to contribute $3 million to the City of Tucson General Fund to support fare-free city transit, especially the Sun Link Tucson Modern Streetcar.

The text of the resolution acknowledges that UA students make up 80% of Sun Link ridership, and recognizes transportation as “a basic human right” necessary to secure access to “healthcare, education, employment and other opportunities.”

Fare-free transit has been a key advocacy issue for ASUA throughout the 2022-2023 academic year. The City of Tucson began offering Sun Tran services free of charge during the COVID-19 pandemic and used federal grant money to support the fare suspension.

ASUA launched the #WhyIRide campaign in Aug. 2022 to rally support for fare-free transit. On Dec. 20, 2022, the Tucson City Council voted to extend fare-free transit on all Sun Tran services, including the streetcar, until June 30, 2023.

A $3 million contribution from the university is likely to weigh heavily on the city’s decision to continue the provision of fare-free transit. The city council is considering a proposal to extend fare-free transit indefinitely beyond June 2023, when it is currently set to end.

“I believe this resolution, after talking to the mayor, will be a critical step forward in sealing the deal,” said ASUA President Patrick Robles, who co-authored the resolution with Executive Vice President Nico Nieri-Lang and Administrative Vice President Lauryn White. The resolution’s senate sponsor is Franke Honors College Senator Vaisha Nair.

The resolution passed unanimously after minor revisions to the document’s text. It marks the ASUA senate’s last major action of the academic year.

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