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Tucson Transportation

Getting There

Airport

Tucson’s small-city airport (TUS) is wonderfully user-friendly—security lines are rare, check-in is quick, short-term parking is just steps from the terminal. The airport is about 20 minutes by car from downtown, 30-35 minutes from most major resort hotels. Major carriers include U.S. Airways, United, Alaska, Continental and American. The rental-car facility is also on-site, a four-minute walk from baggage claim. Allow 20 minutes to reach the airport from downtown; 35-45 minutes from the major resort hotels. Taxi fare is about $25 downtown, but can reach $50 to and from outlying resorts. Bargain-hunting travelers can sometimes save on airfare by flying into Phoenix (PHX), which has hundreds of daily flights from around North America and Europe, and taking Arizona Shuttle’s buses to Tucson.

Train

Amtrak’s Texas Eagle Sunset Limited lines serve Tucson from Texas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego; there are four arrivals/departures a day. The station is at 400 E. Toole Avenue, on the northeast side of downtown; 520-623-4442. Arizona Shuttle provides frequent, handy service to and from Phoenix airport to Tucson locations (not including the airport). The trip takes about two hours, and round-trip fare is $74; 520-795-6771, 800-888-2749.

Getting Around

Public Transit
Sun Tran, Tucson/Pima County’s bus service, operates gaily-colored buses throughout the metro area; most routes have roughly one bus an hour, with those in high-demand areas, such as downtown and the university, running more frequently. Most (but not all) bus stops have shaded shelters for patrons to wait out of the direct sun. Visitors expecting the sort of comprehensive bus system common in major metro areas will be disappointed—Tucson is a car kind of city. Since a 2-ride fare is $2.50, the best value is a full-day pass at $3. The charming Old Pueblo Trolley operates Friday evening, Saturdays and Sundays between downtown and the University of Arizona, along Fourth Ave. and University Blvd.; fare is $1.25.
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