Sun Tran riders protest possible cuts in service - Tucson News Now

Sun Tran riders protest possible cuts in service

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Sun Tran writers United Tuesday night outside City Hall to send the council a message.

"Writers that I spoke with had no idea of these proposed changes," said bus rider Cesar Aguirre.

He said that he rides by choice, but he says changing schedules and routes will make life hard for those who depend on the bus. Routes around Tucson are on the plan, but he worries especially for those on the south and west sides.

"There are some routes changes they're making that would save money and would enhance the system. But what we are focused on is the routes that are being cut or the wait time between buses are being increased, and so those are the ones that we are focusing on, and if you look at those routes, most of them are on the south and west side of town," Aguirre said.

"Our analysis determine to that although we will have an impact, there's no escaping that, it does not meet at threshold that has been established, and that's basically a 20 percent difference or threshold," said Carlos deLeon, deputy director of the Tucson Department of Transportation.

Sun Tran must find almost $2.4 million in savings. Some fare increases have been suggested, but the riders union expects the council to avoid an increase. It suggest the savings come from somewhere else in the budget.

"I think that, when they're thinking about the greater good of the city, that sometimes we have to make that choice and pick those battles that we might not want to take on, but it's going to be for the greater good of the people," Aguirre said.

Tuesday was a study session for the council.  It has yet to pick a strategy from the proposal.  The final vote could be in June.  While the route changes will save an estimated $2 million, eliminating redundancies between buses and the modern streetcar could save another $400,000.

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