Introductory ride on the streetcar starts with a smooth impression

TUCSON, AZ (TNN) – The view of downtown from inside the modern streetcar is about to become familiar for many who have been waiting to ride the rails.

"As a bus rider, I find it very exciting," said Rocelle Aragon, who plans on riding the streetcar.

"The busses are kind of hit and miss and this is going to be a really dependable way to get around," said Isaac Stockton, who looked forward to the streetcar's arrival.

The 3.9-mile circuit connects downtown with the westside by crossing underneath I-10 and over the Santa Cruz River. Challenges remain ahead in reducing conflicts between the streetcar and parked vehicles among other issues; however, retiring city manager Richard Miranda said that he is pleased to see how far the streetcar has come.

"I really think this was the hardest part because we've shown the community we can do this project and do it well," Miranda said as he rode the rails on a media introductory ride Thursday afternoon.

The streetcar has about 28 seats and can hold up to 150 people with most of them standing.

"We've shown what transit means in terms of mass transit and moving people around. So, getting over that paradigm is very difficult, and I think that the second phase should be a lot easier," Miranda said.

The second phase will likely be deciding how the route will expand. But this weekend, getting to know the current route will give many a reason to take a free ride."I will spend the first part just taking it around and around to understand the route, and then working out the other things. I'm also looking forward to seeing some of the public art," Aragon said.

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