McSally, Kirkpatrick, Grijalva, Hiremath Celebrate New Sabino Canyon Shuttle

hiremath mcsally grijalva, kirkpatrick
Satish Hiremath, TEP CEO David Hutchens, Sen. Martha McSally, Farhad Moghimi (Pima Association of Governments/Regional Transportation Authority), Rep. Raul Grijalva, U.S. Forest Service employee, and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick pose for a group picture at Sabino Canyon on Saturday. [Photo courtesy Sen. Martha McSally]

TUCSON — U.S. Senator Martha McSally, joined Representatives Raul Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick and former Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath to inaugurate the Sabino Canyon Crawler. The officials came together to cut the ribbon on the new open-air electric shuttle.

The Regional Canyon Center, in partnership with the Coronado National Forest, launched the new set of emission-free shuttles on Saturday, November 9, 2019 that are meant to adapt to the “changing public demands” officials have seen at the park, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

McSally stated in a press release that it took her “persistent advocacy to demand that the Forest Service respond to the community needs and open up the bidding process for a cleaner, quieter, safer service for all who enjoy this treasure.”

USDA Forest Service Kerwin Dewberry, Forest Supervisor stated in McSally’s press release: “Today’s event was a great success and would not have been possible without the help of all of our community partners and representatives in Congress—especially Senator McSally. We are grateful to all of our community members who contributed to the project and look forward to the new service serving our community for years to come.”

More than a million people visit Sabino Canyon every year and 10 percent ride the trams.

The U.S. Forest Service has provided a tourist shuttle service up Sabino Canyon since 1978. The new crawler service, in partnership with TEP, will include five, 62-passenger zero-emissions electric trams.


McSally plays around with Hiremath during the inauguration of the Sabino Canyon Crawler.

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12 Comments

  1. Having read all the background materials posted online by the USFS, I still have a few questions about these new electric trams:

    1. Will they be able to get up the hills consistently?
    2. Will tram stops be deleted in order to allow the vehicles to make the route without running out of power or making it back in time?
    3. Will they have A/C in the hot months?

    Furthermore, did you know that the number of tram runs is now limited by the USFS and the number of persons that can be carried per hour is reduced by using smaller trams? It also appears that additional trams won’t be used even if there are a high number of people visiting and waiting for service.

    Call me conspiratorial but the USFS materials also talk about establishing bus service to Sabino. While I’m not opposed to that as an option, I think it’s possible that the endgame for Sabino is to prohibit vehicle parking and it will only be accessible via bus somewhere down the road, all in pursuit of some greenie agenda as has happened with other national parks and monuments.

  2. Are they all stuck together???
    Where’s Exleaderbarry ? His Shovel Ready bailout bought new Outhouses into Sabino Canyon.

  3. I wonder how much copper these new electric shuttles use? It’s funny that Grijalva is opposed to all of the new proposed copper mines that would supply this copper.

  4. “zero-emissions electric trams” – well I highly doubt those things are being recharged by solar power only. Even then, there was plenty of emissions when those things were built, along with the emissions from building solar panels or wind turbines, so I’d appreciate it if the media & politicians would stop lying to the lemmings about all this “zero-emissions” nonsense.

  5. Seems like an OK deal but I can’t figure out the significance of Hiremath, a Dentist and former Mayor, being involved with this. Could it be he’s bucking for a job with his buddy Chuck?

    • I understand bipartisanship (I guess), but I can’t understand why any self-respecting human being would be caught dead in a photo with the “Drunken Toad of Tucson”, AKA – Representative for Mexico (D), or “the exception to the Raul”.

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