Tucson ― Streetcar Recommended
Rail Transit Online, November 2005
Two citizens committees
appointed by the city to investigate the feasibility of a modern streetcar
system for Tucson have both recommended that a line be built from the
University of Arizona hospital to Rio Nuevo on the west side of Downtown.
The advisory panels’ findings now go to the city council for approval.
Transportation Department project manager Shellie Ginn predicted that the
project could be completed by 2011 if all other required authorizations can
be received and funding — 50 percent federal, 50 percent local — is
Meanwhile, The Regional
Transportation Authority on Oct. 26 unanimously approved a draft 20-year,
$2.1-billion transportation plan that includes $89 million for the
streetcar. The proposal would primarily benefit local streets and highways
but would also provide money for expanded and improved bus service. If the
Pima County Board of Supervisors approves, the plan will be placed on next
May’s ballot for voter approval of a 0.5-percent sales tax increase to fund
the local share. Voters decisively defeated two measures in November 2003,
one for a new light rail line and the other for expansion of the heritage
Old Pueblo Trolley.