6th streetcar arrives - Tucson News Now

6th streetcar arrives

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The 6th of eight streetcars has arrived in Tucson.

That leaves two more before the full fleet is finally assembled.

The 7th should be in town by the end of April and the final car should arrive in mid-May according to co-manager of the streetcar project, Andrew Quigley.

That's important because all the cars must be in the city's possession and tested before it can begin charging for service.

The city has set July 25th as the kickoff day for the modern streetcar.

It's scheduled for about three weeks before the opening of the University fall semester.

The city wants the car functional by the time the students arrive in hopes they will ride it from campus to downtown and other destinations.

It does not appear the city will be ready by the July 25th deadline but has petitioned the federal government to allow the opening even though not all the cars will be tested.

"It will only be two or three weeks," says Quigley.

But he says "we're confident" the government will allow the go ahead.

He says the city is sending off its response to government questions about the early start.

He says the city should not be penalized because the delivery date from the vendor has been delayed.

Next week, the city will be conducting high speed tests on a number of its new cars.

University Avenue near the University will be closed at 11:00 PM Monday night until 5:00 am on Tuesday to run the tests.

The streetcar will get up to it maximum speed of 43 mph and then slam on the brakes.

It the car is built to the correct specifications, it should stop in about 700 feet.

Even though the speed limit of the streetcar is only 25 mph, the car must be tested at higher speeds for safety purposes.

In May, the city will also consider whether to run the streetcar past 2:00 a.m. on Thursday and Friday nights in order to compensate for closing time for the bars and nightclubs along the route.

Right now it's still scheduled to close at 2:00 a.m., but "we're going to look at it," Quigley says. 

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