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Tucson's disabled transit users can track Sun Van rides with new app

Paratransit users in Tucson can now track the progress of a reserved Sun Van with a free mobile app or website.

The Sun Van app can now show where shuttles are in real time. This is a boost in their service, Sun Van wrote in a press release, because users were previously only given a 30-minute window when a ride might arrive, during which they often had to wait outside in the heat or rain.

The app, available for both Android and Apple, can use screen-reader technology that helps the blind and visually impaired read text, icons and other information. The real-time tracking is meant to be “intuitive and easy to navigate,” Sun Van said, and they touted the new service by the app, made by Trapeze, as one of the first of its kind in the country. While the app is a way to schedule rides, riders can also call 520-798-1000 (TDD: 628-1565). Sun Van users have to be ADA-eligible or accompanying someone who is.

Like other Sun Tran services, fares for Sun Van are free until June 30. Their online brochure lists what fares would be if the city were currently charging, including for low-income riders, personal care assistants and companion riders. It also has information about mobility devices, service animals, bags, cancellations, how to make reservations and add money to Sun Van accounts.

The service hours for Sun Van vary to match up with the nearest Sun Tran bus route, but they operate 4:30 a.m. - midnight. Sun Van rides are meant to take no more than 10 percent longer than similar Sun Tran or Sun Link rides, officials said.

Bennito L. Kelty is TucsonSentinel.com’s IDEA reporter, focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access stories, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.

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courtesy of Sun Van

Sun Van driver David with rider Amanda Parkman by a Sun Van vehicle