County supervisors vote against changes in Sun Tran services

By Amy Fredette

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sun Tran passengers can breathe a sigh of relief. Bus service in Pima County will remain unchanged as the result of a unanimous decision reached yesterday by the Board of Supervisors.

Because of a budget shortfall, Pima County was faced with reducing services and increasing fares, said Felipe C. Sanchez, public transit administrator for the Pima County Department of Transportation and Flood Control.

However, the supervisors voted to continue services using money from the county's Development Services Department, Sanchez said.

Sanchez added that the exact subsidy amount has yet to be calculated.

"We need to put riders in buses, not take them out," said Supervisor Raul M. Grijalva.

Five patrons of the of the public transit system, including Larry B. Barton, associate director of the UA's Parking and Transportation Service, defended their needs for inexpensive and dependable transportation during the public meeting.

"The University of Arizona has worked very hard to promote alternative transportation," Barton said.

Barton said that 42 percent of the UA's 10,000 employees currently use such forms of alternative transportation as buses, bicycles and car pools.

Bruce A. Wright, senior officer for economic development and community affairs, also represented the UA at the meeting.

"UA students are the single largest commuters," Wright said.

Wright said that since 1984, the UA has contributed $5 million in subsidies to the alternate transportation program.

Although services will proceed unaffected with the funds provided, the future of public transportation remains dependent on additional funding, Sanchez said.

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