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Streetcar cuts back on late night weekend hours

Posted at 9:23 PM, May 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 23:54:40-04
The Sun Link streetcar is permanently cutting down its weekend hours. The transportation department is making the change as a way to assist the city with their multi-million dollar deficit. Starting this weekend, passengers will have to get onboard a little earlier if they want to catch a ride.
For about two years, students, tourists and locals have been getting late night rides on the streetcar. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights the rail line ran through campus, Fourth Avenue and downtown until 2 a.m.. Starting June 9th, riders won't be able to hop onboard past midnight. 
"We are a late night bar," said Illegal Pete's Manager, Joseph Kaley. "We are open until 2:30 so I think it takes away some of that opportunity for us."
The restaurant and bar opened late last year and sits right outside a popular street car stop on University Boulevard. 
"It just takes away an opportunity for people to come into Illegal Pete's, to head back this way. that was sort of part of our mission was to bring back people to the Main Gate Square and University area."
The decrease in ride times comes after the city saw low ridership during those late night hours. They're cutting back on their operations as part of a way to save money that would be taken from the city's general fund. Cutting back on six hours of operations each week is expected to save the city about  $150,000 per year.
Some students say the new schedule might lead to bigger issues.
"It's a little bit cheaper than an Uber and it's quicker," said Pima Community College student, Brittany Christensen. "I feel like it might affect some people who might drink and drive honestly like they might be like 'You know what, I have my car here, why not it's like a block away."'
Starting June 9th, the street car will be running on Thursdays from 7 10 p.m., Fridays from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m..