Tucson’s Transportation System

Tucson’s transportation system includes options for driving, biking, walking, and taking the bus or streetcar; it also supports freight activity across the city and region. Today, mobility options rely primarily on streets for travel through and around the city, including collectors and arterials as well as local neighborhood roadways.

Tucson is growing. Over the last 10 years, more people are living in, working in, learning in, and visiting Tucson.

Over the next 25 years, an estimated 60,000 more people will live in Tucson with 84,000 more jobs.

With more students and a growing tourism industry, there will be increased demand on Tucson’s transportation system.

Tucson’s Transportation System at a Glance:

  • 1,760+ miles of roadways
  • 600+ miles of bikeways
  • 130+ Pedestrian lights (HAWKS)
  • 420+ traffic signals
  • 29 regular bus routes and 12 express routes
  • 22,000+ streetlights
Today, nearly 75% of Tucsonans drive alone to work, while walking, bicycling, and public transportation options support only about 10% of commutes. However, over 60% of Tucson’s workforce travels less than 10 miles, with commutes time averaging about 22.4 minutes.

Pavement Condition

Tucson’s streets are the foundation of Tucson’s transportation network. However, they are in disrepair:

  • 58% of Tucson’s roads are in very poor condition
  • Over half of local roads are in very poor condition

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Traffic Capacity

There is also excess capacity—both today and in 2045. Tucson has the opportunity to invest in existing infrastructure and create a system that works for all roadway users.

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Safety

Safety is a growing concern on Tucson’s streets.

  • More than 1,700 people were seriously injured or killed on Tucson’s streets from 2014-2018
  • 72% of serious or fatal crashes occurred on major streets
  • Pedestrian serious injury/fatality rates increased by 90% during this time period
  • It is becoming more dangerous to walk and bike in Tucson

Equity

21% of Tucson’s population lives in a high equity area; 18% of jobs are in these same areas.

Historic and systemic inequities in these areas have limited access to economic opportunity, influenced where investment occurred, and have been reinforced through development patterns over time — making it more difficult for people to get where they need to go.

Read more about the methodology here.

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Walking in Tucson

  • 45% of major roads are missing sidewalks on one or both sides of the street
  • 92% of major roads have greater than 1/4 mile between safer crossing opportunities
  • 130 pedestrian signals support safer crossings

Biking in Tucson

  • Tucson streets and trails provide over 600 miles of designated bikeways
  • 70% of Tucson’s major streets are high stress
  • Local streets provide an opportunity for low stress biking corridors, but the lack of safe crossings at major streets limit their comfort and utility.

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Click images to enlarge

Public Transportation in Tucson

  • Nearly half of all residents live within a 10-minute walk of a frequent transit stop
  • SunTran serves 80 million passenger miles annually
  • 11 routes operate with a frequency of 15 minutes

Transportation Network Highlights

  • Motor Vehicle: While bottlenecks exist at some intersections during peak hours, 91% of the road network was not congested during the busiest hours (2019).
  • Public Transportation: 46% of Tucsonans live within a 10-minute walk of a frequent transit stop, while 72% of Tucsonans work within a 10-minute walk of a frequent transit stop.
  • Bicycle:  39% of roadways included a designated bikeway; however, 70% of major roadways are high stress for bicyclists
  • Pedestrians: 71% of major roadways require pedestrians to travel at least one-half mile between safer crossing opportunities
  • Maintenance: Much of Tucson’s transportation infrastructure is in need of replacement or repair. In addition to pavement upgrades, replacing aging traffic signals and communications technology can help improve traffic flow