Tucson Modern Streetcar Program Management
More than 85,000 people live and work within walking distance of Tucson's Modern Streetcar alignment, along with 50,000 students, faculty and staff at the University of Arizona. Even with three bus routes providing service every 30 minutes, there seemed to be a greater need for transit service in the corridor.
In an effort to increase transit options, the city of Tucson embarked upon the Tucson Modern Streetcar project, now known as Sun Link. The 3.9-mile alignment improves connectivity between the university and downtown, with 23 stops and a frequency of operation of 10 minutes during the day and 20 minutes during the evening.
The $196 million Sun Link project is the single largest construction project the city of Tucson has undertaken. The project was funded by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), USDOT through a TIGER Grant, the Federal Transit Administration New Starts Exempt program and the city of Tucson.
To deliver the project efficiently and within schedule and budget, the city of Tucson selected us as program manager. We've led the project's development from its inception in 2004 and have been the lead consultant in virtually all aspects of the project. Our services included program management, design oversight, vehicle procurement and oversight, public involvement, planning, environmental, economics, construction management and system start up.
As part of the $2.1 billion, 20-year Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) plan, the project focuses on addressing the following challenges and expanding on these opportunities:
- Create direct connectivity between major employment centers and regional attractions
- Serve low-income and transit-dependent populations
- Support responsible population growth in the region
- Provide simple, high-frequency service that serves a range of markets and populations
The streetcar project has made a significant economic impact on the community while also helping to improve the environment, including the creation of 500 construction jobs; more than 1,500 new housing units; more than 50 new restaurants, bars and cafes; and more than $800 million invested from the private sector along the route to date.
After 10 years of conceptualizing, planning and implementing, the streetcar officially opened on July 25, 2014. With 1,600 attendees, the grand opening event was a huge success. There were 60,000 riders during the Free Ride Weekend and 350 Sun Link volunteers.
- 2015 - Grand Project, Engineering Excellence Awards, American Council of Engineering Company of Arizona
- 2015 - National Recognition Award, Engineering Excellence Awards, American Council of Engineering Companies