On Wednesday, June 1, at 6 p.m., the Oro Valley Town Council will invite residents to comment during a public hearing in Council Chambers to consider discontinuing the Town’s transit system, Coyote Run, and the transition of residents to a regional transportation network through a partnership with the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).
In March 2010, the State eliminated the funding for Coyote Run through the Local Transportation Assistance Funding (LTAF). The town council looked for a solution to ensure that our residents did not experience an immediate interruption of transportation services. The Council was able to approve use of one-time funds from the town’s cash reserves to continue Coyote Run, with restricted hours of operation, for the remainder of the fiscal year.
At the same time, the council advised town staff to embark on a one-year plan to coordinate Coyote Run and Sun Shuttle Transit services through a partnership with RTA. During this time, staff worked with the RTA to ensure mobility options remained within our community. Expanded hours, expanded service area and increased access to transit for all Oro Valley residents was achieved by the addition of Sun Shuttle and Handi-Car in February of this year.
On April 20, acting on advice from staff to satisfy federal requirements for the public hearing process and to meet fiscal timelines, the council directed the staff to begin the process necessary to consider discontinuing Coyote Run.
Should the council elect to do so, we know there will be challenges. However, Oro Valley will remain a community that is unique in providing curb-to-curb transit service in these economic times. Our commitment will be to continue to work through any challenges as this new service develops out of infancy.
Our transit administrator, Aimee Ramsey, has committed to work one-on-one with our transit-dependent residents to find the mobility option best suitable to the individual’s needs.
Mary Snider is vice mayor of the Town of Oro Valley.