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Sun Rideshare News | Winter 2018

Wise ways to get to and from Tucson's high-traffic events

Somewhere in the wake of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, the Fiesta de los Vaqueros gallops up on the horizon, with the Tucson Festival of Books not far behind. How can locals enjoy our region’s many renowned attractions without losing their marbles trying to drive to them and park? Ideally, more people would opt to use alternative modes of transportation:

  • Rideshare: Carpool with a friend or neighbor.
  • Try transit: Purchase a pass for Sun Tran or Sun Link.
  • Ride a bike: Borrow a bike from the Tugo bikeshare service. 

If you do need to drive, consider installing the free Metropia app, a free navigational tool developed here in Tucson that offers rewards to drivers who use it. The app is unique in that it helps drivers avoid real-time traffic issues without creating new ones, by dispersing the masses onto a variety of alternative routes. (Pro tip: It also has a ridesharing feature called DUO that rewards carpoolers!)  

Host a ZIP code party
Knowing is half the battle
Do employees know who their potential carpool partners are at work? Help them find out with a ZIP code party. A ZIP code party informally brings together employees who live near each other, so they can get acquainted and discover who lives close enough to ride together. With a little help, they can start talking about what’s possible for a better way to commute. 
Transportation coordinators (TCs) can help with organizing a ZIP code party, and the Travel Reduction Program (TRP) of Pima Association of Governments can assist them. Consider working with your human resources department to compile and organize employees’ ZIP code data for optimal results. A great place to start is with employees who live more than 13 miles from your work center — just above the average car-commute distance. A carpool can greatly help with easing those long commutes!
Contact Genine Sullivan,TRP Outreach Coordinator, or ask your human resources director or TC about coordinating a ZIP code party today.

Commute cost calculator redux
Are you spending too much money on driving yourself to work? Our Commute Cost Calculator can help you tell. Just plug in  five pieces of information: your round-trip miles to work, per-gallon gas price, daily parking costs, vehicle type, and average miles per gallon. Then see what you’re likely spending per day/month/year. Most drivers will come up with an annual cost in the thousands — not including their car payment. 
Remember, the cost of driving goes beyond gas and includes maintenance and insurance. Some auto insurers even offer a low-mileage discount. It all adds up! See how much you can save by using an alternative mode even two times each week. 

Commuter spotlight: Michael Herman

Every weekday, Michael Herman conquers an 11-mile commute to his job as a senior architect with the Planning, Design and Construction department at the University of Arizona. Most days, he uses a combo transportation approach: book-ending a seven-mile bus trip with two miles of bike-riding. Just one day a week he drives the family car so he can run errands. It’s a complete 180 from his days of driving alone to work. 

A transplant from rural northeastern United States, Michael says his move to the Tucson region provided the transportation trifecta he needed to make that turnaround: good weather, multiple alt-mode options and a shorter commute.

“The driving factor (no pun intended) was the desire to own only one car,” he says. “The reason for that was two-fold: not only the obvious economic benefits but also a commitment to reduce my impact on the environment from a sustainability perspective.” 

Michael notes that the health benefits of cycling plus the mental relaxation of letting someone else drive have iced the cake. And then there’s the matter of dough:
“The fuel savings more than offset the cost of a bus pass,” he says, noting that the university subsidizes half the cost of his annual bus pass. “The big savings come from having allowed my wife and me to downsize to owning just one car.”

Michael’s shift in how he commutes didn’t happen without growing pains, but growing is the operative word when you consider how he regards his choice now:

“The main initial challenge was simply letting go of the frantic, fast-paced mindset of the modern working world,” he says. “While I can get to work or home about twice as fast if I drive a car, it turns out there is more to life than simply getting somewhere as quickly as possible.” 

Do you have a success story about rethinking your commute? We would love to share it! Contact Genine Sullivan, TRP Outreach Coordinator, at


Guaranteed Ride Home gets an update
Guaranteed Ride Home, available exclusively to registered users in the Sun Rideshare commuter database, is now easier than ever to use. It’s all online! With a few mouse clicks, you can register as well as access and print taxi vouchers for use during qualifying emergencies. Guaranteed Ride Home is a great benefit to all alternative-mode users living and working in Pima County. Register today to take advantage of this free benefit.


Restrictions apply. See complete Guarantee Ride Home details here. 

Win with Sun Rideshare by referring a friend

Refer a friend to the Sun Rideshare program to be eligible to win a $25 Walgreens gift card. The more friends you refer, the more chances you have to win. This is how it's done:

Anyone who lives in Pima County can sign up for Sun Rideshare:



Upcoming training opportunities for TCs
To sign up or for more information about these workshops, contact Genine Sullivan, TRP Outreach Coordinator, at


How can a TC  get more employees to rethink the way they commute?

Keep trying!” says David Heineking, Transportation Coordinator for University of Arizona Parking and Transportation Services.

“Try to get people to dip their toes into the alternative transportation waters, and some will jump all the way in! Try to offer a variety of options — it’s not an all-in-one solution for everybody, so creative thinking is essential for each individual or target group."

Heineking says to present the benefits and remind people how much the tangible and intangible costs are of driving alone.

"Promote sustainability, healthy lifestyles and saving money. Work with human resources and reach out to folks that are just starting with the company. It’s a common touchpoint and a great way to influence new employees from the get-go.”


3 simple ways employers can support their bus commuters


1. Microflex schedules. Minor shifts in start and end times can make or break a bus rider’s day. For example, if starting and ending 10 minutes earlier means a person can catch a bus right after clocking out instead of waiting a half hour for the next bus, why not flex his or her work schedule accordingly?  2. Provide water. Keep a supply of bottled water available for bus riders to grab as they head out the door to wait for their buses. Can you provide chilled water? Even better! Sometimes it really is the little things. 3. Provide umbrellas. A simple umbrella can provide shelter-on-the-go and make a world of difference for bus riders. Proudly add your company logo to it, and you’ve got advertising on-the-go, too. 

TRP Employer Awards

For recent Gold, Silver and Bronze employer awards from Pima Assocation of Governments (for achieving one, two or three Travel Reduction Program goals, respectively), click here.

Need an article for your company/neighborhood newsletter? 

All articles in Sun Rideshare News are available for non-commercial reuse. When you reuse an article, please ensure that all links remain active, all photo attributions remain intact, and attribution is given as follows: Published courtesy of Pima Association of Governments. 

Interested in having your company sponsor TRP incentive programs?

For more information on how your company can sponsor TRP incentive programs, contact Mary Carter, PAG Director of Engagement and Partnerships, at




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