Metro Magazine

AUG 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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31 AUGUST 2014 m ETRO m AGAZINE > development and serve as the "last dol- lars" to help a project get funded that otherwise would struggle to fnd the last source of funding. The City of Tucson's streetcar project in that context is a classic example of TIGER-funded projects. Tis 3.9-mile line, called Sun Link, connects the region's two largest activity centers (Downtown Tucson and the University of Arizona) to commercial districts and a redevelopment area, improves transit service in the corridor and helps to cata- lyze create economic development. The U.S. DOT signed a Grant Agree- ment with the City of Tucson in Decem- ber 2010. Construction for the streetcar project began in early 2012. Te revenue opening date for the 3.9-mile line was scheduled for October 2013, but delays in car deliveries contributed to in a ser- vice opening delay. It finally began ser- vice this past July. The project's capital cost is $196 mil- lion. The Regional Transportation Au- thority (RTA) provided $75 million. From the county's sales tax revenues dedicated for public transportation im- provements as part of the $2.1 billion Re- gional Transportation Plan approved by Pima County voters in May 2006. In addi- tion, the FTA awarded $25 million in Ma- jor Capital Investment Grant funds under the "exempt" category of the New Starts program that has since been repealed. Financing of the vehicles was obtained through certifcates of participation, and $3.2 million in capital funding was con- tributed by the Gadsden Co., a private developer in Tucson, and $11 million from the local utilities. However, the project became much more real when the U.S. DOT awarded the city $63 million in the second round of the TIGER program in February 2010. Tat enabled the City of Tucson and the RTA, which co-managed the project, to complete design and construction and hire RATP Dev McDonald Transit Inc. as the contract operator and maintainer of the line. The City of Tucson completed its $196 million, 3.9- mile Sun Link streetcar system in July. Construction of the streetcar project began in early 2012. City of Tucson

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