Beep BeepŠ Sedona RoadRunner to start making rounds

The Sedona RoadRunner Transit will be off and running Saturday. The new public transportation will run a circulator route with stops at Hillside Galleries and Shops, Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village and Uptown Sedona.

The route serves an area that, according to the RoadRunner Web site, "has Sedona's highest density of commercial activity and traffic."

The transit service is free for residents and tourists in the city. Two trolleys will loop the area, arriving at the stops approximately every 10 minutes from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

RoadRunner Program Manager Jim Wagner said the sheltered stops along the route will later include electronic "next bus signs," which tell riders when the next trolley will arrive. The stops are located at Hillside, Tlaquepaque and, upon completion, at the intersections of Arizona 89A and Forrest Road, and 89A and Apple Street.

The stops in Uptown are currently being constructed in conjunction with the Uptown Enhancement Project -- a construction project focussed on making Uptown more handicapped accessible by widening sidewalks as well as making the area more eye-appealing.

Community Development Director John O'Brien said the stops are still being constructed.

Wagner said the trolleys would have difficulty navigating through the construction. Therefore, he said the route has been temporarily altered. For now, trolleys will use the Hillside and Tlaquepaque stops, then take a left on Jordan Road off of Arizona 89A and travel to the city parking lot.

People in the area may have seen the trolleys already. Wagner said the drivers are making test runs and getting used to the route.

Sedona residents and tourists are not the only people that can take advantage of the transit service. The transit will also include a commuter service that takes passengers to and from Cottonwood.

Wagner said this part of the RoadRunner project will launch Oct. 14. The commuter trolley will only be available once in the mornings to Sedona and once in the evenings back to Cottonwood. The trolleys are housed in Cottonwood of Mingus Avenue.

Associate Planner Kathy Levin said the goal of the commuter service is "to help people who live in Cottonwood and work in Sedona."

Wagner said the commuter service is still "a work in progress." He said he is still working out details such as exactly where the rider would catch the trolley and at what times.

The RoadRunner will "probably use the CATS (Cottonwood Area Transit System) drop off by Wal-Mart," Wagner said.

The commuter service will not be free like the circulator route. Wagner said this service will probably cost $2 each way or $40 for a monthly ticket.

The City of Sedona chose to use a fuel blend for the trolleys called bio-diesel that the city claims is more environmentally friendly than using low sulfur diesel, which the trolleys can run on as well. The blend includes 20 percent soy oil and 80 percent diesel.

The trolleys have a 25-seat capacity when no wheelchairs are being stored. All trolleys have wheelchair lifts.

The transit service is paid for by commuter rider fares, the City of Sedona and State of Arizona federal transit funding.

For updates on the commuter service or more information about the RoadRunner call 282-0938 or go to the RoadRunner Web site at SedonaRoadRunner.com.

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