Tucson Travel – The Return of the Streetcar

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After many years of watching the construction and training process, the latest version of Tucson’s streetcar history officially began operations today. Like many cities, Tucson had a system of streetcars and local trains prior to the rise of the automobile but allowed it to decay and eventually removed it, only to eventually rediscover that streetcars can be very effective forms of urban transportation.

As with any public project there are of course detractors: bicyclists have been very vocal that having tracks in the street make it less safe for them, and my favorite overheard comment was “the city can’t pay to keep spring training baseball here but they can build a big trainset” but on it’s opening day the mood was celebratory and the trains fairly full. Most importantly for me, on a day with temperatures over 100 F I was able to get on the streetcar, ride further than I would have walked in the conditions, and get off a couple of blocks away from the restaurant I had wanted to have dinner at for the past several days but didn’t want to walk to in the convection oven that is summer in Tucson.

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