NEWS

Students voice their concerns over Sun Link’s fares at town hall

sun-tram-2
Tia Stephens | The Daily Wildcat

Sunlight shines through the streetcar window onto a SunLink operator at the stop on Cherry and Second Street on July 6. 

A couple dozen of University of Arizona students met in the Santa Cruz room to make their voices heard on Aug. 24. 

Students there voiced that the Sun Link has been recognized as a vital resource for reasons from financials to safety. Lucas Forray, a member of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, shared his perspective: “As a college student, those aren’t really costs I want to be worrying about when I have thousands of dollars on the line for my education.”

Edgardo Aguilar, the president of the United Sorority and Fraternity Council, was also in attendance; he represents all multicultural identity-based sororities and fraternities on campus. 

“I know a lot of my delegates use that Sun Link, a lot ... I know it’s crucial for them to use the Sun Link. It is imperative for them that this remains a free service ... so that way they are not worrying about one extra cost that the university doesn’t nickel and dime them for already,” Aguilar said. 

MORE FROM THE DAILY WILDCAT

Representatives from the Sun Tran organization put together the meeting in conjunction with UA Parking and Transportation. Director of Marketing and Communication, Cindy Glysson, was the primary representative there. 

“We’re here on behalf of Sun Tran, Sun Link to reach out to the public, students, staff and faculty for their input on fares,” she said. 

The gathering was intended to be an open space for discussion as well as a record of responses about the issues that students have with the Sun Link fare returning. No concrete decision about the return of fares was reached at the meeting. 

According to Glysson, the process has just begun and there will be more review on the subject by the city of Tucson and Sun Tran before a conclusion is to be reached. “We are gathering this input, returning it to the city so they have a chance ... with everything they need to do their research with to determine what direction we’re going to go in,” she said. 

ASUA President Patrick Robles commented, “I’m very pleased that the pressure that we placed upon Sun Link will contribute to continued talks, but it's unfortunate that it began this way. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to a continued partnership that will hopefully result in free public transportation for students here at the university.”

Due to financial concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, federal funding through the CARES act allowed Sun Tran to remove the fares for all their services including the Sun Link streetcar that services University Boulevard, Fourth Avenue and Downtown; all of these areas are heavily utilized by students and local community members. This condition was set to expire at the end of 2021, but the city found it in its budget to extend it through the end of this year. 

The discourse regarding future changes in fares for Sun Tran is ongoing.


Follow Cole Fields on Twitter



Share this article