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NewsNet 02-20-14

TUCSON CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER SUN TRAN FARE HIKE AND SERVICE CHANGES - Facing a $33 million project budget deficit next year, the Mayor and Tucson City Council yesterday voted to begin the process to potentially increase fares and implement service changes. Services changes being considered, which could result in $2.4 million in savings, would impact individual routes differently by adjusting the service level, rerouting, or restructuring Sun Tran regular routes, including express routes. Several different options to increase transit fares are being proposed with the final amount to be determined after a vetting process and public hearing. A final vote on service changes and fare increases is expected before the end of June 2014. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star and view the agenda items.

CITY ASKS FEDS TO AMEND STREETCAR MANDATE - City of Tucson officials want to begin fare service in late July for the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar, but meeting that target date will require permission from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA mandates the use of eight streetcars - six in operation and two in reserve. To date, only four streetcars are undergoing testing in Tucson due to delays by United Streetcar, the vehicle manufacturer. SunLink Co-Manager Andrew Quigley says the City is asking for permission to operate with four or six vehicles, while the remaining ones continue testing. Even though the City expects to receive all of its cars by early May, rigorous testing standards will prevent all eight from being ready for service by the middle of summer. The Downtown Tucson Partnership estimates the $200 million American-made streetcar project already has helped generate $800 million in public and private investment along the route, through downtown and the University of Arizona. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

TUCSON RODEO COMPETITION RUNS THROUGH SUNDAY - Competition at the Tucson Rodeo, also known as La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, began last weekend and continues through Sunday at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. 6th Ave. This morning's 89th Annual Rodeo Parade was the official welcoming event for the rodeo, which features more than 650 contestants from the United States and Canada, competing for more than $460,000 in prize money.
Tucson Rodeo:

2014 TUCSON TRAVEL GUIDE AVAILABLE NOW - This year's edition of the Tucson Official Travel Guide is ready for distribution. The magazine-style print version contains 80 pages of information on things to do and see in Tucson and southern Arizona. The complimentary guide, published this month, can be downloaded online at VisitTucson.org or requested for mail by calling Tucson Visitor Information at (800) 638-8350. A digital version for smartphone use will be available later this month.

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