NewsNet 01-20-15

SUN TRAN/CITY DEBUT NEW 7-DAY TRANSIT PASS - Sun Tran and the City of Tucson’s Department of Transportation recently launched a SunGO 7-Day Pass, available now through May 2015. The pilot program will provide unlimited rides on Sun Link, Sun Tran and select Sun Shuttle routes for seven consecutive days after first activated on transit vehicles, offering an alternative to the current 1-Day and 30-Day pass options. The new  pass is being tested for the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase. The passes can be purchased online, at ticket vending machines at Tucson’s three transit centers, and at various sales locations. The $15 pass ($13 when loaded to an existing SunGo card) will be tested for a six-month period to determine if the pilot program or similar program will be permanently integrated into the public transit fare structure. Read more from Sun Tran.

MAYOR AND COUNCIL TO CONSIDER EXPEDITING DEVELOPMENT OF FORMER SCHOOL SITES - The Mayor and Tucson City Council tomorrow will consider fast-tracking the development process for those interested in building on land where vacant buildings of closed schools sit. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild requested the item to discuss possible incentives the City could offer for compatible redevelopment of closed Tucson Unified School District sites. The City is interested in projects that include affordable homes that mesh with a neighborhood’s existing character, he said. Possible incentives could include expedited plan reviews, deferred building fees until final inspection of a project, and assigning a dedicated project manager to make sure the process is running smoothly. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.
Mayor and Council Study Session agenda materials

CITY OF TUCSON WINS STATE PLANNING AWARD - The City of Tucson recently won the 2014 State Planning Award for Plan Tucson, the City’s General and Sustainability Plan. Plan Tucson was approved by more than 65 percent of voters in the November 2013 election. The award application required addressing seven criteria, including originality/innovation, transferability, quality, comprehensiveness, public outreach, role of planners, and effectiveness/results. Plan Tucson was the culmination of a three-year process conducted by an in-house team of City planners, in collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders to prepare a new General Plan that would serve as a comprehensive framework for a sustainable future over the next decade. Read the news release.

NEED HELP STARTING OR EXPANDING A BUSINESS IN TUCSON? CALL THE SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE LINE - The City of Tucson's Small Business Assistance Line, (520) 837-4100, is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Help is available in both English and Spanish. Staff from the City Manager's Office of Economic Initiatives answer the calls. The Small Business Assistance Line is one of a number of City initiatives, along with 21 business incentives and streamlined permit processes, to make Tucson a business-friendly city.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR TUCSON FESTIVAL OF BOOKS - The Tucson Festival of Books depends on volunteers to help run the annual event at the University of Arizona and hundreds of positions are available. This year's event is March 14-15, from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. each day. Since its launch in 2009, the Festival has contributed more than $1 million to local literacy organizations.