New Sun Tran policy eliminates paper transfers on buses

“REGIONAL TRANSIT TRANSFER POLICY TO CHANGE SunGO Card transfers good for two hours in any direction, fee waived for one month (press release)

TUCSON, Ariz. –Starting on September 1, all passengers must have a SunGO Card or SunGO ID& Card, even if paying cash, for a transfer to be issued when tapped on a farebox. Transfers will now be valid for two hours in any direction on Sun Tran, Sun Link and select Sun Shuttle routes. Paper transfer tickets will no longer be distributed after August 31.

In order to ensure all passengers have a SunGO Card, Sun Tran will distribute cards from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday starting August 22 through September 2, in the information booths at all transit centers:

  • Laos Transit Center, 205 W Irvington Road
  • Ronstadt Transit Center, 215 E Congress Street
  • Tohono Tadai Transit Center, 4540 N Stone Avenue

Limit is one card per passenger. Individual must be present at the time of distribution to redeem card.

Passengers can also get a SunGO Card with the fee waived, from August 22 through September 30, 2016, if a pass or minimum value of  $1 is loaded to a new SunGO Card at a Ticket Vending Machine or at a sales outlet.

For more information on the new regional transit transfer policy, visit www.suntran.com or call Sun Tran’s Customer Service at (520) 792-9222.”

Contact: Kandi Young                                                                    

Date: August 16, 2016

Director of Marketing &Communications

(520) 206-8810; kandi.young@tucsonaz.gov

Contact: Michael Graham

Public Information Officer

(520) 837-6686; michael.graham@tucsonaz.gov

Carolyn’s note:  After receiving this email on 8/16/16 I corresponded with Kandi Young a # of times, to understand what this means. Apparently Sun Tran drivers will no longer give out paper transfers to customers who pay cash unless they have a Sun Go card. Both my husband and I are occasional bus riders so this does affect us, so I did go downtown today to pick up a Sun Go card, to carry along in case I need a transfer. But I asked Ms. Young about out of town visitors/newcomers to Tucson who don’t know about needing this card.  I guess they will think about putting up a kiosk at the airport for those users, and others will just have to pay twice ($1.50 x two) , since they won’t be able to get a transfer. Regular Sun Tran riders just use their monthly pass so this won’t affect them.

Seems to me that Sun Tran should be making bus riding easier than harder like this new policy. Especially since they always want to increase ridership.

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3 responses to “New Sun Tran policy eliminates paper transfers on buses

  1. Someone from the Tucson Bus Rider’s Union told me last night that the card transfers used these past few years has cost $350,000/year to produce. This expense is what is now being saved by making riders use the harder plastic, reloadable Sun Go card. But the previous transfer cards were reloadable as well, just that riders were not told that. Gone are the days when Sun Tran just used to accept cash, issue thin paper transfers. We can only hope that the new system will save some $, but it won’t make bus riding easier for many.

  2. Thanks for your info Jim. It still doesn’t make it easy for new riders and visitors who wouldn’t know they need the Sun Go card. Drivers should have them on the bus as well for sale. But using the new system would make it possible for people to pay $1.50 and run errands in either direction within 2 hours. It’s not like the all day (24 hour) pass for $4 on Sun Link.

  3. The paper transfers are very expensive, so it makes sense to eliminate them. On the plus side, the new transfer rule allows a rider to go back and forth on a trip for one fare, if done within two hours. So, for a quick shopping trip, this will save the bus rider either $1.50 for full fare, or .50 cents for the economy fare.
    Sun Tran is a great transit system, one of the best in the country for cities in the population range of Tucson. It is also unique in offering an economy fare to low income riders, currently .50 per ride or $15 per month for unlimited rides. This economy fare is also available to disabled riders and anyone 65 years or older.
    The city council will be debating fare increases in the near future, the last fare increase was about five years ago.