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Founded 1969
Headquarters 4220 South Park Ave
Locale Tucson, AZ
Service type bus service, paratransit
Routes 38
Fleet 206
Fuel type Biodiesel, CNG
Web site suntran.com

Sun Tran is the public transit system serving the city of Tucson, Arizona. Sun Tran traces its history to 1905, when the Tucson Rapid Transit Company assumed operations of the horse-drawn streetcar system in town, converting it to electric streetcars. By the 1930s, the streetcar lines were converted to buses. The City of Tucson acquired Tucson Rapid Transit in 1969. A separate company, Old Pueblo Transit, which served primarily Tucson's South Side, was acquired from Emery C. Johnson by the City of Tucson in 1978 and its operations folded into Sun Tran.[1]

Contents

Awards

Sun Tran won the America's Best Transit System award for 1988 and 2005 from the American Public Transportation Association in the category of 4 to 30 million annual passenger trips.

Fleet

Current fleet

Builder Model Year Length Fuel Number(s) Quantity Notes
Neoplan USA AN440 1991 40' Biodiesel 9101-9125 25 Only 5 buses of various numbers remain in the fleet. These buses were formerly dual-fueled and could run on diesel or CNG.
Neoplan USA AN440 1993 40' Biodiesel 9326-9340 15 These buses were formerly dual-fueled and could run on diesel or CNG. They are identical to the 1991 Neoplan buses.
Neoplan USA AN440 1994 40' Biodiesel 9441-9469 29 These buses were formerly dual-fueled and could run on diesel or CNG. They have Luminator Mega:MAX flip-dot signs and a different A/C unit compared to the other Neoplan buses.
New Flyer C40HF 1996 40' CNG 9676-9694 19 These buses were the first purely CNG-powered buses in the Sun Tran fleet. They also were the first buses to feature automatic stop announcements and hard seats throughout the entire bus (rather than just in the rear).
New Flyer C40HF 1997 40' CNG 9701-9725 25 These buses are similar to the 1996 New Flyer buses but feature grey interior flooring and sidewalls rather than the orange interior found on the 1996 buses.
Nova Bus 40102CNG "RTS-WFD" 2000 40' CNG 2001-2045 45 These buses originally featured Luminator LEDot front signs, but they were replaced with Luminator Horizon signs in 2005. Some of these buses feature advertising wraps.
Gillig Low Floor 2005 40' Biodiesel 2501-2538 38 These buses were the first low-floor buses in the Sun Tran fleet, excluding the 1994 Orion II buses. They were also the first biodiesel-powered buses in the fleet. The buses have all forward-facing seating with the exception of seats in the low-floor section of the bus on the passenger side. Buses 2537 and 2538 have the same seating configuration as the 2006 Gilligs.
Gillig Low Floor 2006 40' Biodiesel 2601-2612 12 These buses have a different seating configuration compared to the 2005 Gillig buses, as seats are all arranged lengthwise (except for the last row of seats). This was done to reduce vandalism that has been caused to bus windows and the interior.
Gillig Low Floor 2007 40' Biodiesel 2701-2718 18 These buses are similar to the 2006 Gilligs but have only one wheelchair ramp (at the front), and 8 forwards facing seats (in addition to the last row of seats) in the rear section. These buses also have a different exhaust pipe and air conditioning unit than the other Gilligs.
Gillig Low Floor 2008 40' Biodiesel 2801-2811 11
Gillig BRT 2008 40' Biodiesel 2901-2936 36 These buses, labeled "Sun Express", are used on express routes, and occasionally as shuttles for special events. Features include low floor, head rests, reclining seats, and heat resistant windows.

Retired Fleet

Note that this is by no means a complete listing of retired vehicles that have operated for Sun Tran and/or its predecessors.

Builder Model Year Length Fuel Number(s) Quantity Notes
Yellow Coach Model 733 1937 30' Gasoline 14-15 2 These buses were withdrawn after World War II. The engine was located in the front and they sat 21 passengers.
Yellow Coach Model 733 1938 30' Gasoline 16-17 2 These buses were identical to the 1937 Model 733 buses.
Yellow Coach Model 1204 1939 30' Gasoline 18-22 5 These buses had a rear engine and sat 24 passengers.
Yellow Coach Model 1204 1940 30' Gasoline 23-26 4 These buses were identical to the 1939 Model 1204s.
Ford Model 69B 1941 30' Gasoline 27-31 5 These buses were built for World War II.
Ford Model 69B 1942 30' Gasoline 32-36 5 These buses were built for World War II.
Ford Model 69B 1943 30' Gasoline 37-41 5 These buses were built for World War II.
Ford Model 69B 1944 30' Gasoline 42-46 5 These buses were built for World War II.
Ford Model 69B 1945 30' Gasoline 47-49 3 These buses were built for World War II.
Ford Model 69B 1946 30' Gasoline 50-55 6 These buses were withdrawn from service in 1955.
Twin Coach 41-S "Art Deco" 1946 35' Gasoline 101-106 6 These buses were some of the earliest to operate in Tucson. All were withdrawn in 1968.
Twin Coach 41-S "Art Deco" 1947 35' Gasoline 107-112 6 These buses were identical to the 1946 Twin Coach buses.
Twin Coach 34-S "Art Deco" 1948 30' Gasoline 113-115 3 These buses were withdrawn in the late-1960s. Some were converted to school buses before that.
GMC TDH-4509 "Old Look" 1951 35' Diesel 201-206 6 These buses were retrofitted with A/C in the late-1950s. They were withdrawn from service in the 1970s.
GMC TGH-3101 "Old Look" 1951 30' Gasoline 121-126 6 These buses were operated by the Old Pueblo Transit Company, which was the transit agency for South Tucson.
GMC TDH-4509 "Old Look" 1952 35' Diesel 207-215 9 These buses were similar to the 1951 TDH-4509 buses. All were withdrawn in the 1970s.
GMC TGH-3101 "Old Look" 1952 30' Gasoline 127-129 3 These buses were operated by the Old Pueblo Transit Company and were withdrawn in the 1960s.
GMC TDH-4512 "Old Look" 1953 35' Diesel 216-218 3 These buses were retrofitted with A/C in the late-1950s.
GMC TGH-3102 "Old Look" 1953 30' Gasoline 130 1 This bus was operated by the Old Pueblo Transit Company.
GMC TDH-4512 "Old Look" 1957 35' Diesel 220-222 3 These buses were retrofitted with A/C in the late-1950s.
GMC TDH-4512 "Old Look" 1959 35' Diesel 223-225 3 These buses were retrofitted with A/C in the early-1960s.
GMC TGH-3102 "Old Look" 1959 30' Gasoline 131-133 3 These buses were operated by the Old Pueblo Transit Company and were withdrawn in the 1970s.
GMC TGH-3102 "Old Look" 1960 30' Gasoline 134-136 3 These buses were similar to the 1949 TGH-3102 buses but only had a single door. They were withdrawn from service in 1974.
GMC TDH-4517 "New Look" 1962 35' Diesel 228-231 4 These buses were the first in Tucson to be built with air conditioning, and were also the first GMC "New Look" buses in service. They were withdrawn from service in the early 1980s.
GMC TDH-3501 "Old Look" 1966 30' Diesel 140 1 Although this bus was built in 1966, it had the "Old Look" design. It was built for Old Pueblo Transit Company and withdrawn from service in the late-1970s.
GMC T6H-4523A "New Look" 1972 35' Diesel 7201-7211 11 These buses were the first to be ordered by the city of Tucson.
GMC T6H-4523A "New Look" 1973 35' Diesel 7312-7321 10 These buses were identical to the 1972 GMC New Looks.
Flxible 45096 "New Look" 1973 35' Diesel 7322-7331 10 These buses were the first Flxible buses to enter service in Tucson. They were withdrawn from service in the 1990s.
GMC T6H-4523A "New Look" 1974 35' Diesel 7402-7403 2 These buses were ordered by an operator in Texas but ended up in service in Tucson. They were renumbered from 1402-1403 and were withdrawn from service in the mid-1990s.
GMC T8H-5307A "New Look" 1974 40' Diesel 1474-1479, 1481, 1484, 1488 9 These buses were delivered new to Tucson but were actually built for various transit agencies across the United States who did not take up these buses. They were temporarily operated in Tucson from 1974-1978, when they were replaced with AM General buses. 1475-1478 were sold to Phoenix Transit System and were withdrawn in 1989, while the rest were sent to other operators. These were the first 40-foot long buses in Tucson.
Flxible 45096 "New Look" 1975 35' Diesel 7532-7563 32 These buses were the first to be built for Sun Tran (along with the 1975 AM General 9640-8 buses) and featured a different livery from the red and yellow that is featured on buses today. All of these buses were withdrawn in the mid-1990s.
AM General 9640-8 1975 40' Diesel 5501-5512 12 These buses were the first to be built for Sun Tran (along with the 1975 Flxible 45096 buses), and featured a different livery from the red and yellow that is featured on buses today. All of these buses were withdrawn in the mid-1990s.
Flxible 35096 "New Look" 1976 30' Diesel 7664-7684 21 These buses were built for Old Pueblo Transit, which served the city of South Tucson. Originally, these buses were numbered 5050-5070 but after OPT was taken over by Sun Tran in 1978, these buses were renumbered to 7664-7684. All of these buses were withdrawn in the mid-1990s.
AM General 10235B 1977 35' Diesel 7764-7775 12 These buses were all withdrawn by 1997.
AM General 10240B 1978 40' Diesel 5713-5724 12 These were the first buses painted in the red and yellow Sun Tran livery. All of these buses were withdrawn by 1997.
GMC T8J-204 "RTS-04" 1981 40' Diesel 8101-8119 19 These were Tucson's first RTS buses. They featured rollsigns and frameless windows. All were withdrawn from service in 2000.
GMC T8J-204 "RTS-04" 1986 40' Diesel 8601-8613 13 All of these buses were withdrawn from service in 2000.
GMC T8J-206 "RTS-06" 1986 40' Diesel 8614-8629 16 These buses were similar to the earlier 1986 GMC buses but were built as RTS-06 models rather than RTS-04 models. All were withdrawn from service in 2000.
Orion Bus Industries 02.501 1994 25' CNG 9470-9475 6 These buses were powered by CNG and were withdrawn in the early 2000s.
TMC T80-206 "RTS-06" 1989 40' Biodiesel 8930-8984 55 Only 8 buses of various numbers remained in the fleet until May 2008 were mostly used on express routes. Most of this type was retired in the fall of 2005 with the arrival of the 2005 Gilligs. These buses were formerly powered by diesel.

Current Routes

  • 1 Glenn/Swan
  • 2 Cherrybell/S. Country Club
  • 3 6th Street/Wilmot
  • 4 Speedway
  • 5 Pima Street/W. Speedway
  • 6 S. Park Avenue/N. Park Avenue
  • 7 22nd Street
  • 8 Broadway/6th Avenue
  • 9 Grant Road
  • 10 Flowing Wells
  • 11 Alvernon Way
  • 15 Campbell Avenue
  • 16 Oracle/12th Avenue
  • 17 Country Club/29th Avenue
  • 19 Stone
  • 20 West Grant/Ironwood Hills
  • 21 West Congress/Silverbell
  • 22 Grande
  • 23 Mission Road
  • 24 S. 12th Avenue
  • 26 Benson Highway
  • 27 Midvale Park Road
  • 29 Valencia
  • 34 Craycroft/Ft. Lowell
  • 37 Pantano
  • 50 Ajo Way
  • 61 La Cholla
  • 101X Golf Links-Downtown Express
  • 102X Northwest-UA Express
  • 103X Northwest-Downtown Express
  • 104X Marana-Downtown Express
  • 105X Foothills-Downtown Express
  • 107X Oro Valley-Downtown Express
  • 108X Broadway-Downtown Express
  • 109X Catalina Highway-Downtown Express
  • 110X Rita Ranch-Downtown Express
  • 201X Eastside-Aero Park Express
  • 202X Northwest-Aero Park Express
  • 203X Oro Valley-Aero Park Express
  • 312X Oro Valley-Tohono Express

Alternative propulsion

For at least the next five years, Sun Tran will use more biodiesel buses. Biodiesel is a cleaner than regular diesel. Sun Tran plans to buy an additional 119 biodiesel buses over its five-year contract with bus manufacturer Gillig Corp. buses are also capable of running on regular diesel, but Sun Tran does not use petrodiesel in any of its buses. Sun Tran uses B20 and B5 biodiesel blends in its 114 biodiesel buses. It is believed that the increased use of biodiesel avoided a potential fare increase and fuel surcharge in July 2008.[2]

Regional Transportation Plan and streetcar system

In May 2006, voters in Tucson approved a Regional Transportation Plan (a comprehensive bus transit/streetcar/roadway improvement program), and its funding via a new 20-year half-cent sales tax increment.[3] The centerpiece of the plan is a 3.9-mile modern streetcar system (inspired by the successful Portland Streetcar in Oregon) that will travel through the downtown area, connecting the main University of Arizona campus with the Rio Nuevo master plan area on the western edge of downtown.[4] The approved funds are a match to an equal amount of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding. In May 2009, the City of Tucson announced that Oregon-based United Streetcar had been selected to manufacture the seven modern streetcars planned for the line, but that finalization of the order would have to wait until FTA approval for the project to proceed.[5]

The streetcar system will be double-tracked, replacing a single-track configuration currently in use by Old Pueblo Trolley (OPT), a volunteer-run heritage streetcar operation mainly used by tourists and local patrons of the numerous small shops and restaurants along the line. A maintenance facility will be located just west of the present OPT car barn and yard on 8th Street west of 4th Avenue. Historic trolley operation will continue during weekends and special events, supplementing the modern streetcars. It is assumed, but not confirmed, that Sun Tran will be the operating agency of this streetcar. The official project website features computer animated video of Portland Streetcar-style vehicles traveling along the route, painted in pre-2009 Sun Tran bus livery. At the end of September 2009, the FTA gave its approval for the City of Tucson to proceed with the final design phase of the project,[6] and construction should begin in 2010. The line is projected to open in late 2011.[7]

Regional seamless transit system

On January 22, 2009, a regional seamless transit system was unveiled[8] that helps to better unify the various public transit services in and around the Tucson metropolitan area. One change was the renaming of several of the services under the "Sun" moniker: the Sun Tran express bus routes become Sun Express; Van Tran (paratransit) becomes Sun Van, circulator routes in outlying areas become Sun Connect, and RideShare (carpooling) becomes Sun RideShare. Along with this name change comes a new logo and color scheme, replacing the old red, yellow, and white with a blue, yellow, silver, and white livery that extends across not only the Sun Tran buses, but the other services as well. The new livery was introduced into service on February 16, 2009 with the addition of 47 new Sun Tran buses and 42 Sun Van (formerly Van Tran) paratransit vehicles to the fleet. Current vehicles will keep their existing liveries until they are either overhauled or replaced. Also in the works are new fare machines that allow a single "smart card" to pay fares on Sun Tran, Sun Express, Sun Connect, and the downtown streetcar; and improved signage at bus stops and transit centers.

Sun Connect service started on May 4, 2009 under the name Sun Shuttle, with routes to the north and northwest, Green Valley, and Sahuarita.

References

External links


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