December 17, 2018

Tucson-Based Nonprofit to Run Shuttles at Sabino Canyon

The Regional Partnering Center plans to use gas vehicles at first and switch to an all-electric fleet.

bear canyon hero Walking down the road near the Bear Canyon Trail in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, February 2018. (PHOTO: Nick O'Gara, AZPM)

A Tucson-based nonprofit has been awarded a permit to run shuttles at the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, a popular recreation spot in southern Arizona.

The Sabino Canyon Recreation Area hasn't had shuttle service since June 30, when the previous permit expired.

The Coronado National Forest sought input from the public, which wanted a competitive process, and did an environmental analysis.

The forest announced Thursday that the Regional Partnering Center will run the new shuttle service. It will use gas-powered vehicles but eventually switch to an all-electric, open-air fleet.

Forest spokeswoman Heidi Schewel says the nonprofit is readying its vehicles, building a ticket kiosk and working on an interpretation program. A date hasn't been set for shuttle service to resume.

The recreation area in the Santa Catalina Mountains draws more than 1 million visitors a year.

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