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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


In midst of strike, Sun Tran adds new weekday bus routes

While the Sun Tran employee bus strike shows no signs of coming to a halt, Sun Tran has been adding weekday bus routes in the attempt to accommodate Tucson’s bus-riding population.

According to a press release by Sun Tran, starting Sept. 9, Route 23 will be the latest weekday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. bus route addition. Currently there are 12 other bus routes in service. Route 23 provides service through downtown, Ronstadt Transit Center, South Tucson and Mission to Laos Transit Center.

“We typically have 43 bus routes, 13 of which are express,” said Kandi Young, the director of marketing and communications for Sun Tran.

The press release notes that bus routes will continue to be added when more resources become available.

These resources come in a variety of ways, according to Young.

“We have trained administrative staff who are trained coach operators, bargaining union employees who have opted to return to work, and we have hired a small number of coach operators from an outside vendor to provide additional services as well,” Young said.

While Sun Tran can’t pinpoint exactly when it will add more routes, Kandi said, “We recognize it’s not all of our service, but we’re doing our best to provide as much service as we can.”

As the 35th day of the bus strike begins the same day Route 23 is added, Young said, “[Sept. 8], Sun Tran and the union both met with the mediator, which is certainly a step in the right direction.”

Brian Flynn, a political science freshman, believes the strike has gone on long enough.

“In the end, this [the bus strike] is only hurting the people who ride the busses on a regular basis. It’s a shame this is happening,” he said.

With Route 23 beginning its service today, the Sun Tran press release suggests that riders “plan accordingly as buses may be delayed due to overcrowding.”

Alternative transportation options, updates of the ongoing negotiations, current routes and times are located on the Sun Tran website HYPERLINK. You can also call Sun Tran’s Customer Information Center at 520-792-9222.

Follow Matthew Rein on Twitter.

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