Electric bus to Sabino Canyon part of new pilot program

Electric bus to Sabino Canyon part of new pilot program
Sign for shuttle stop (Source: Tucson News Now)
Sign for shuttle stop (Source: Tucson News Now)
Electric motor (Source: Tucson News Now)
Electric motor (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The lines at the gate and to find a parking spot were long. Hundreds of people trying to hit the trails at Sabino Canyon during this holiday.

"We drove around the parking lot for about five minutes and waited on this spot for two minutes," said visitor Matt Lohmeier.

With parking spaces filling up so quickly on Monday, some visitors choose to park on the side of Sabino Canyon Road.

Seeing the cars on the road has been a concern for some people that live close to the trails. However, the Regional Transportation Association thinks they may have a solution to this parking issue, and limiting vehicle emissions in the park at the same time.

On Monday, Dec. 26 they started a pilot program that brings visitors from Udall Park to Sabino Canyon hourly. The first bus begins picking up passengers at 9:15 a.m. and the last bus leaves Sabino Canyon at 4:45 p.m.

According to RTA, this pilot program will run until Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. The way it is setup, Sun Tran Routes 5, 8, 9 and 37 stop at Udall.

"It will give more people access, people who wouldn't have access to Sabino Canyon, we can provide some relief," said James DeGrood from PAG.
 
On top of that, the shuttle is using an electric bus. RTA officials say the goal of the shuttle is to help reduce emissions in Sabino Canyon.

The shuttle is free and supplied by BYD, allowing all 40 passengers to get a free ride to Sabino Canyon.

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