Tucson ― Feds Urge Buying Another Streetcar
FTA officials have suggested that the planned fleet of seven streetcars for the under-construction streetcar line will be inadequate to provide service on the four-mile line. According to Railwayage.com, the FTA recommends that the city buy an eighth car. The city's plans have called for an active fleet of six cars with one spare, but the FTA thinks the spare margin is too thin.
The fact that the builder of Tucson's cars, United Streetcar of Clackamas, Oregon, is brand new to the field, is way behind on delivery of its first order of cars to Portland, and has had significant difficulty debugging its prototype car may have influenced the FTA's caution.
On July 17, the Tucson City Council authorized purchase of an additional car and to determine how to fund it. One option to defray the cost would be to sell options for additional cars included in the original order to another city, and that avenue is being explored.