University

Web Extra: Streetcar project adds to U of Arizona's transit options

Posted on April 23, 2012

Earlier this month, Tucson, Ariz. broke ground on a new 3.9-mile modern streetcar line project that will directly connect thousands of commuters with the University of Arizona (UA) and Tucson’s major downtown employers, health care facilities and regional attractions.

“We’re excited for the streetcar for a number of reasons,” said David Heineking, CPP, director of UA’s Parking & Transportation Services (PTS). “One of the largest benefits of the streetcar for the University community is that it will connect major centers of activities, including major research and health care facilities. This is especially true of the programs located in downtown Tucson.”

The Tucson streetcar line will serve a population of more than 85,000 people who live and work within walking distance of 17 planned stops. The service also fills a gap by offering direct, high-capacity transit connections between downtown Tucson, the University of Arizona, the Arizona Health Sciences Center and points in between. Travel times between the University District and downtown are expected to improve significantly over current bus service, once the streetcar line is operational.

“As a University, we are also excited at the potential for expansion that the streetcar will open up for us — not only for our programs, but also for our student housing,” said Heineking. “We predict that the streetcar will also alleviate the demand for on-campus parking and, by encouraging members of the community to use alternative modes of transportation, reduce greenhouse gases.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) committed $78.7 million to the $196.6 million project thus far, including $63 million in TIGER funds awarded in 2010 and $15.7 million from other U.S. DOT funding sources. It is slated to open in late 2013.

The streetcar project will become another aspect of UA’s transportation program, which includes car sharing, carpool/vanpool, and bicycle programs, as well as a U-Pass program with Sun Tran, Tucson’s local transit agency.

“Our department subsidizes the U-Pass program; PTS pays for 40% of the U-Pass,” said Heineking. “Students and employees may buy passes at PTS.”

The largest service providing campus transportation, perhaps, is UA’s Cat Tran, which has 16 shuttles and 6 routes — the Orange, Purple, Teal, Green, USA and Nightcat Route. The shuttles run Monday thru Friday, with service running from about 6:30 am — 6:30 pm, depending on the route. The Night Cat late evening shuttle runs from 6:00 pm to 12:30 am, with a break from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm, according to Heineking.

“Our Cat Tran program currently has Schedules and routes on the Cat Tran are usually modified once a year,” he said. “This year, however, with the streetcar, we have to modify as we go along. As of right now there are no major changes planned for next year.”

The growth of public transportation to UA’s campus could be right on time. Over the past decade the average number of miles driven by people younger than 35 fell by almost 25%, according to survey data compiled by the U.S. DOT. The same group walked, biked and rode transit more.

Additionally, two-thirds of Y-Generation respondents said they preferred living in walkable or transit-connected urban neighborhoods, the Urban Land Institute and the National Association of Realtors independently reported last year.

The trend is also taking shape in Arizona, however it is less pronounced, according to the state’s Department of Transportation.

“If it is true, we’re glad to hear it,” said Heineking. “One of our main missions at PTS is to increase sustainable practices throughout the community. We are committed to reducing congestion and increasing air quality through the promotion of alternative transportation programs and expanding the use of commuter options.”

 

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Autonomous vehicle expert joins MSU’s transportation division

Craig Shankwitz will lead the development of MSU's Western Transportation Institute research team that will explore and develop applications of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies to roads and transportation systems in rural areas and small cities, in both the public and private sector.

Ohio State University breaks ground on CNG fueling station

Campus Area Bus will fuel a portion of its fleet at the $3 million CNG station with long-term plans to transition all CABS buses and other fleet vehicles to alternative fuel models.

D.C.'s American University first to pilot unlimited bus and rail UPass

While the new program will generate about $2.7 million for the current fiscal year, at about $1 a day for each student during the semester, the U•Pass offers an affordable transportation option for students to travel throughout the region for classes, internships, jobs and other activities.

UGA receives $10 million for electric bus purchase

The19 40-foot buses should arrive on campus in 2017 and are part of the University of Georgia's strategic plan to advance campus sustainability.

U of Mich. study: Most Americans hesitant toward driverless vehicles

About 46% stated that they would prefer a vehicle with no self-driving capability, while nearly 39% said that they would prefer a partially self-driving vehicle and just under 16% said they would prefer a completely self-driving vehicle.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close