Final streetcar arrives in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Final streetcar arrives in Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson's streetcar project has reached a milestone as the eighth and final streetcar arrived Friday morning.

As testing on the Sun Link system continues, the streetcar operators are running into some interesting situations as they run their routes.

The operators say some people are just not sure what to do.

That's even though the streetcars must obey all traffic signs and signals and will use their turn signals to let others know where they're going.

Along Fourth Avenue we saw a police officer pulling over a truck that had passed a stopped streetcar.

There is a sign that tells motorists not to pass the streetcar.

Fourth is a two lane street with one lane going in each direction at that point. It's illegal to pass any vehicle that's stopped, whether it's a car or streetcar. Streetcar operators say bicyclists will cut right in front of the streetcar, not realizing how fast it's going. They say car drivers will just cut them off.

The operators advise drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to treat the streetcars like any other vehicle.

"I think a lot of the traffic, they don't understand what to do with it. I say treat it like it's a big bus, but a lot of people, they'll stop. They're not sure what we're going to do at the traffic signs. They're not sure how to get around us. And some people are just in awe. They'll just look at it and watch the streetcar go by. And, of course, that backs up traffic too," says Sun Link Supervisor and Operator Ron Stockett.

The streetcar will be traveling a four-mile long route, from west of downtown to the University of Arizona.

Two streetcars, including the one that arrived Friday morning, are going through testing.

On Tuesday, six cars will be running on the tracks. That is the maximum number running on a normal day. It means a streetcar should be passing a streetcar stop every ten minutes.

Each streetcar will have cameras onboard, like the city buses do.

Also, like the buses, it will not be real-time monitoring.

"So we have 12 cameras on each vehicle and the reason they call it not real time because it's a DVR and everything's recorded. It's not like streaming currently at this time. It does have the ability to do that and I know that they're looking at some funding and maybe turning that portion of it on, but currently it's just recorded on a DVR," said Sun Link Operations Manager Cleve Cleveland.

Sun link will be open to the public July 25. Cleveland said there will be two days of free rides before the fares begin.

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