Tucson's Sun Link streetcar attracts international attention

Published: Feb. 21, 2016 at 10:04 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 17, 2016 at 10:07 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Members of the Australian Capital Territory Delegation have come to Tucson to learn more about the Sun Link streetcar.

Delegation members are involved in planning a streetcar for the city of Canberra and have come to Tucson to talk to officials, ride the streetcar and learn about the process and effects it has had on Tucson.

"We've had cities from all over the US come to see what we've been up to. But to have an international visitor is something that we're very proud of. And the city of Tucson should be proud of too," said Jeremy Papuga, transit administrator for the city of Tucson.

The officials from Canberra said they chose to stop in Tucson because of the similarities between Tucson and Canberra.

"Because it has some great similarities between Canberra and Tucson. ... Similar size population. Also similar weather patterns. We have this sort of temperature in Canberra in spring," said Mick Gentleman, minister for planning and land management.

Gentleman said the estimate for the cost of construction will be around $680 million. He also said the big price tag comes with benefits.

Gentleman said the streetcar will alleviate some of the congestion in the city, especially around the northern suburbs, where the congestion is the worst.

He also said the value of the property along the streetcar route will increase as well.

Sun Link officials said this is not the first time officials from other places have come to learn more about the streetcar but this is the furthest any group has traveled.

More than a million people rode the streetcar last year. Papuga said right now, about 3,600 people ride the streetcar during the week.

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