What's next for the trams at Sabino Canyon? - Tucson News Now

What's next for the trams at Sabino Canyon?

Riders on Sabino Canyon tram. (Source: Tucson News Now) Riders on Sabino Canyon tram. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The owner of the current tram service at Sabino Canyon expects he will be out of a job, and likely his home, by the springtime.

Donn Ricketts, with Sabino Canyon Tours, said he was open to making 75 percent of the suggested changes to the tram service he operated for nearly 30 years but he ran out of time.

Ricketts took the U.S. Forest Service to court following a USFS prospectus for new tram operators. Heidi Schewel, a spokeswoman for Coronado National Forest, which includes Sabino Canyon, said no comments could be shared while the issue is tied up in court.

An initial press release about the search for new tram operators stated that a decision would likely happen in February after the search closed in January. The search was extended for two more weeks, but Ricketts expects he'll know his fate by February.

He said his small business cannot compete with proposals like the one submitted by the Regional Partnering Center (RPC), which is managed by the Pima Association of Governments (PAG).

The $2.5 million proposal calls for Total Transit, the same contractor that manages the Sun Shuttle system, to handle electric trams at Sabino Canyon. A release from PAG states the five zero-emission trams would be connected to "new urban transit routes".

A $1 million interest-free loan from Tucson Electric Power will come from TEP's corporate resources, not customer rates, to help cover the cost of the proposal.

Other organizations partnering with the RPC in this venture include Friends of Sabino Canyon, Public Lands Interpretive Association, the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection and the University of Arizona College of Science.

WANT MORE? Download the Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • OVERTIME: Week 1 high school football results, schedule

    OVERTIME: Week 1 high school football results, schedule

    Friday, August 17 2018 8:38 PM EDT2018-08-18 00:38:39 GMT

    The high school football season begins this week with a handful of games involving teams from southern Arizona.

    The high school football season begins this week with a handful of games involving teams from southern Arizona.

  • Arizonans to decide on renewable energy as Prop 127 on November ballot

    Arizonans to decide on renewable energy as Prop 127 on November ballot

    Friday, August 17 2018 8:21 PM EDT2018-08-18 00:21:37 GMT
    Wind, solar power (Source: Unsplash)Wind, solar power (Source: Unsplash)
    Wind, solar power (Source: Unsplash)Wind, solar power (Source: Unsplash)

    The Arizona Secretary of State says Arizona's clean energy initiative has enough valid signatures to quality for the November 6, 2018 ballot. It's been assigned the number Proposition 127. It's called "Clean Energy for A Healthy Arizona."

    The Arizona Secretary of State says Arizona's clean energy initiative has enough valid signatures to quality for the November 6, 2018 ballot. It's been assigned the number Proposition 127. It's called "Clean Energy for A Healthy Arizona."

  • BREAKING

    SILVER ALERT: Tucson man last seen on UA campus

    SILVER ALERT: Tucson man last seen on UA campus

    Friday, August 17 2018 7:51 PM EDT2018-08-17 23:51:40 GMT
    James Rusk, 84, was last seen at the University of Arizona poetry center on North Highland Avenue around noon Friday, Aug. 17. (Source: University of Arizona Police Department)James Rusk, 84, was last seen at the University of Arizona poetry center on North Highland Avenue around noon Friday, Aug. 17. (Source: University of Arizona Police Department)
    James Rusk, 84, was last seen at the University of Arizona poetry center on North Highland Avenue around noon Friday, Aug. 17. (Source: University of Arizona Police Department)James Rusk, 84, was last seen at the University of Arizona poetry center on North Highland Avenue around noon Friday, Aug. 17. (Source: University of Arizona Police Department)

    James Rusk, 84, was last seen at the University of Arizona's poetry center on North Highland Avenue around noon Friday, Aug. 17.

    James Rusk, 84, was last seen at the University of Arizona's poetry center on North Highland Avenue around noon Friday, Aug. 17.

Powered by Frankly