Regional transportation provider Sun Tran this week started two new service routes to and from Oro Valley on Monday.
The two routes wind from Oro Valley to downtown Tucson and to Raytheon on Tucson’s southwest side.
Raytheon is one of the region’s top employers.
Ridership was low for the first day of service, to be expected, as Monday was President’s Day.
Still, several people took advantage of the new public transportation offering.
Tucsonan Keith Willmarth hopped on the bus with his bicycle at the Ronstadt Transit Center Downtown and rode the bus to Cañada del Oro Riverfront Park in Oro Valley.
“My hat’s off to Sun Tran,” Willmarth said of the new service.
He took the new route to Oro Valley to visit with his mother, he said.
The Oro Valley express routes are part of a recent expansion by the transit company to extend service to areas formerly without public transportation options.
In addition to the two Oro Valley routes, Sun Tran started service to the Rita Ranch area on Tucson’s southeast side.
That route also serves downtown.
The new routes were paid for with money from the Regional Transportation Authority, the 2006 voter-passed transit plan.
The RTA is a $2.1-billion transportation and infrastructure improvement plan. The transit plan is funded by a 1-cent sales tax.
New buses, also bought with RTA cash, will service the new routes.
As a departure from Sun Tran’s older red and yellow color scheme, and to set apart the express routes from regular bus service, the new buses display a blue and gray.
New bus routes in Oro Valley
The commuter service in town runs weekdays during rush hour
Three morning buses leave the Rancho Vistoso Park and Ride at Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Innovation Park Drive and makes stops at Cañada del Oro Riverfront Park and at La Cañada Drive and Magee Road on its way downtown.
Rancho Vistoso departure times: 5:59 a.m.; 6:29 a.m.; 6:59 a.m.
Three morning buses leave the Rancho Vistoso Park and Ride at Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Innovation Park Drive and makes stops at Cañada del Oro Riverfront Park and at La Cañada Drive and Magee Road on its way to Raytheon on Tucson’s southwest side.
Rancho Vistoso departure times: 5:00 a.m.; 5:20 a.m.; 6:00 a.m.
For complete schedules visit Sun Tran’s Web site www.suntran.com or call 792-9222.