Jul 28, 2014 6:42 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Streetcar passengers begin paying fares

TUCSON - Roughly 60,000 people boarded Tucson's new streetcar for free during the opening weekend celebration. Monday marked the system's first day of normal operation and ridership was considerably calmer.

Mark Robinson, who first rode the streetcar during its free-ride days, noticed fewer passengers boarding the train.

"There is no comparison because today is slow... very slow," Robinson said.

Some commuters, like Andrew Flagg, embraced the new mode of transportation and is excited to use it to get to work. "For people who live near the line it's easy and convenient - and not too expensive," Flagg said.

Fare enforcement agents were also deployed on Monday to make sure everyone riding the streetcar paid for their tickets.

No citations will be issued immediately, though, because Sun Link intends to give the public enough time to get familiar with the system.

For a project facing a lot of criticism, some critics are having a change of heart.

"At first I didn't think it was a good idea, I thought it was a waste of money until I started riding it I kind of changed my mind because of where it goes and they're going to improve on it eventually," Robinson said.

For more information about the streetcar: www.sunlinkstreetcar.com

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