Sun Link Tucson Streetcar

City of Tucson/Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) | USA | 2009-2014

Restored streetcar service to Tucson after more than eighty years
Daily ridership has grown to more than 3,000 passengers

Challenges

  • Integrate a modern streetcar line into the fabric of Central Tucson neighborhoods and the University of Arizona's main campus
  • Develop a plan that is sensitive to the needs of other street users including motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians
  • Develop facility and systems designs of high-quality aesthetic with a minimally intrusive overhead contact system (OCS)
  • Achieve a high level of operating safety using appropriate communications and traffic control technologies

Solutions

  • Hatch LTK provided consulting engineering for the City of Tucson's streetcar system design
  • Assisted with streetcar vehicle procurement and preliminary design development for all systems elements of the project
  • Assisted in establishing functional requirements for the maintenance facility and developed its overall layout
  • During final design and construction, Hatch LTK prepared technical specifications for the vehicles, participated in the industry review process, and assisted the City of Tucson with the evaluation of car builder proposals
  • Conducted design review and provided oversight of production and testing
  • Provided final design for the traction power system (substations, OCS, corrosion control), train-to-wayside control (TWC) to protect train movements in city streets, communications (CCTV and integration of the bus automatic vehicle location and communications system into the streetcar design), and fare collection

Highlights

  • The line opened to passengers on July 25, 2014
  • Eight modern streetcars are used on the 3.9-mile (6.3 km) double-tracked alignment, serving twenty-one stations
  • Seats are designed to flip up to provide room for passengers who board with bikes

Project numbers

USD $196 million project
It was Tucson's largest construction project ever, and it has already made positive impacts, including: 500 construction jobs created, 1,500-plus new housing units, 50-plus new restaurants, bars, and cafes along the route, $63 million-plus in streetcar federal funds, $800 million invested from the private sector to-date along the route
More than 100,000 people live and work within a half-mile of the streetcar route
According to a study on streetcar demographics, 67% of riders are students and 25% are working professionals

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