by FOSC Partner Jim DeGrood, Deputy Director, Regional Transportation Authority, Regional Partnering Center
After starting “transition” service in mid-March 2019, the RPC stepped things up by launching the Sabino Canyon Crawler service over Veterans Day weekend with RPC’s new fleet of all electric vehicles.
The Regional Partnering Center, the local permit holder for the shuttle service at Sabino Canyon, will operate five 62-passenger, all-electric, open-air vehicles manufactured by Trams International in Southern California. The vehicles were acquired through the generous support of Tucson Electric Power, which also brought new underground power service to RPC’s onsite maintenance yard.
The environmental benefits of the new shuttle service are substantial and include the elimination of over 400,000 pounds of carbon monoxide annually from Sabino Canyon as well as the reduced noise from the professionally narrated audio tour. The audio tour, delivered by earbuds rather than loudspeakers on the electric shuttles, was produced with the help of the University of Arizona College of Science, Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists and other topic experts. The audio is
available in both English and Spanish.
Visit www.SabinoCanyonCrawler.com to purchase your tickets and reserve your tour departure time online in advance of your arrival. Arriving at least a half hour in advance of your departure time is recommended to address any parking delay. You can also purchase same-day tickets on kiosks at the shuttle ticket office (credit, debit or exact cash fare) or at the Visitor Center.
The Sabino Canyon Crawler travels the Upper Sabino Canyon Route every half hour (Dec. 15 to April 30) beginning at 9:00 a.m. The last shuttle will leave at 4:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $12.00 for adults, $7.00 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under 3, and include complimentary earbuds.
For the Bear Canyon Route, with access to the Seven Falls trailhead, enclosed, gas-powered shuttles will leave on the quarter hour every 30 minutes beginning at 9:15 a.m., with the last shuttle leaving at 4:15 p.m. Ticket prices are $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under 3.