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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sun Link extends their hours to meet increased activity

Darien Bakas

The SunLink streetcar on University Boulevard on Friday, July 15.

The Sun Link streetcar is extending its hours to meet the increased activity and demand of the fall semester.

While campus may seem like a ghost town during the summer, the start of a new semester has brought hordes of students back onto campus, making the roads busier and the traffic slower.

With the Sun Link route running through UA, many students use the streetcar as their primary mode of transportation to and from campus.

READ: The 6 best places to take the Tucson streetcar 

The street car sees 4,000 riders per day, 61 percent of which are UA students, according to a previous Daily Wildcat column.

“From day one when we started streetcar service, we had always stated that we would be reviewing street car service hours,” said Michael Graham, City of Tucson Department of Transportation public information officer. “That was always the plan and we’re continuing to do that — it’s ongoing.”

Starting Thursday, the Sun Link will offer late-night service that goes until 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. This new extension is set to last through Oct. 2.

Graham said they decided to make the adjustment after the TDOT and Sun Link staff analyzed the street car ridership from the start of UA’s fall semester.

“We looked at last year and we saw that late-night ridership was at its highest from at the start of the semester for approximately 30 days after,” Graham said. “One of the determinations of what we saw is an increase in the UA SunGO pass sales; they exceeded what they were last year and what we projected.”

The SunGO U-Pass is a discounted streetcar pass available for purchase by UA full-time students and staff through Parking and Transportation Services. The UA continuously offers the pass at 50-percent subsidy. A semester pass, which offers unlimited rides, is $87 for UA students, compared to the normal Sun Tran price of $173.

As of the first day of classes, PTS has sold more SunGO passes than it had by Aug. 22, 2015, according to Florence Dei Ochoa, Sun Link marketing and public information manager.

Ochoa wrote in an email that while it’s too early to get total sales, PTS is certainly ahead of last year’s. So far, PTS has sold 802 semester passes, which is 336 more than last year, and 594 annual passes, which is 52 more than last year.

Passes can be be purchased at the PTS website.

Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.

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