The Sun Link Streetcar that runs along Second Street, University Boulevard and Fourth Avenue is one of the main modes of transportation available for University of Arizona students. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Sun Tran has made all of its services free, providing thousands of students transportation in the area; however, that may all change come the new year.
The Sun Link Streetcar's fare collection has been suspended until Dec. 31, 2021, and it might resume fare collection on Jan.1, 2022 depending on the decisions made by city officials.
"Currently, the free rides are through the end of this year, and once it’s over we will hear from the mayor and council to see if they'll extend it further. That's their decision to make," said Cindy Glysson, a spokesperson at Sun Tran.
The streetcar runs from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. On Sunday it runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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"I take the Sun Link car pretty much every day to go to my classes, my labs or to the gym," said Mikalie Caldwell, a junior majoring in chemical engineering who lives in off-campus student housing. "The reason I take it is because it's way cheaper than a parking pass."
Students depend on the free streetcar everyday to go to University Boulevard, the entertainment epicenter of the university, to go to campus, work and even parties during the late nights the streetcar runs.
"I definitely come to these shops [in Main Gate Square] more, I guess, and I'll go on campus more often, like, back to the library just because it's easier," said Tommy Acker, a junior majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship who was headed to his job at Chipotle on University Boulevard.
If fare collection resumes, SunGO passes can be purchased at the ticket vending machine or at any Sun Link stop.
"Right now we're doing a fare analysis survey and a study, so that could potentially change once we do return to fares," said Glysson.
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