'Transportation' Category

Officials Ask For Sonoyta/Lukeville Border Expansion

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Every weekend long lines with more than four thousand vehicles wait at least four hours to cross
By Juan M. Navarro
Sonoyta, Son.
Issue #438

Authorities from the Tourism Coordinating Office of Sonora (Coordinacion de Fomento al Turismo en Sonora) brought to attention the serious situation presented at the border crossing point between Sonoyta and Lukeville during the Arizona-Sonora Tourism Commission in Tucson last weekend. They pointed out the long lines of foreign vehicles waiting more than four hours when returning to the USA.

Epifanio Salido Pavlovich, Coordinator of Tourism of Sonora, pointed out that this situation put at risk the return of tourists to Sonora, so they are looking for involvement by federal authorities from both sides of the border to modernize the border crossing point.

During the tourism working session of the Arizona-Sonora Commission, where sector representatives from both states attended, a top-down overview of the present situation was exposed, so it is expected more participation from federal authorities to expand this important crossing which represents income generation and economic diversification on both sides of the border.

Salido pointed that he made direct contact with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection department representative, Mrs. Donna de la Torre, and they agreed to have soon a new working meeting to establish lines of action and the necessary resource allocation to modernize the border crossing point between Sonoyta and Lukeville.

Salido Pavlovich added that it is necessary to have a more expeditious crossing, given that every weekend long lines with more that four thousand vehicles wait at least four hours to return to the USA.

He also mentioned that these measures are necessary to make the situation more controllable, especially during weekends and vacation time, so they expect to have good results in the modernization and enlargement of the border crossing where most of the tourism traffic is headed to Puerto Peñasco.


Flights proposed from Southern California to Mexico’s Puerto Peñasco

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

10:00 PM PDT on Monday, August 13, 2007By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL
The Press-Enterprise

LA/Ontario International Airport may add a direct flight to Puerto Peñasco in Mexico, a small resort destination north of the Gulf of California popular with Arizona residents, according to a marketing firm representing the destination.

LA/Ontario International Airport may add a direct flight to Puerto Peñasco in Mexico, a small resort destination north of the Gulf of California popular with Arizona residents, according to a marketing firm representing the destination.AeroMexico’s regional airline Aerolitoral is expected to fly a 33-seat plane three times a week between Southern California and Rocky Point International Airport in Puerto Peñasco starting next month.

The resort town, which is in Sonora, is near the top of the Gulf of California. Its airport was built largely with funds from the Mexico City-based time-share company Mayan Resorts Group, according to the airport’s Web site.

The airline is still negotiating with Los Angeles World Airports to decide whether the flights will take off from LAX, LA/Ontario International Airport or both, according to Kathrina Calbes with Blaze PR in Los Angeles, who represents an investor in the route.

LA/Ontario International Airport wouldn’t confirm the flight.

The flights would be partially subsidized by time-share and condo-hotel developments being built in the town, said Calbes. There are 42 hotel developments under construction in Puerto Peñasco, she said.

“The character of the town began to change in recent years as a result of the development by Mexican and American investors who saw the potential in the seaside town,” Edna P. González Bertheau, spokeswoman for Puerto Peñasco Destination group, said in a statement. The region now includes homes, golf courses and a water park.

The town’s airport has two runways, one asphalt and one gravel. Only charter flights have used it until now, said Gabriel Huerta, assistant to the director of the Mexico Tourism Board’s Los Angeles office.

“The local facilities are very excited about this flight,” he said. “It promises to bring in more tourists, more people to the area.”

Sue Tanzman, an agent with Martin’s Travel & Tours Inc. in Los Angeles, was skeptical that the flights would carry tourists.

“I’ve never heard anyone go there or want to go there,” she said.

Aeromexico to add Southern California-Puerto Penasco route

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007
Aerolitoral, the regional subsidiary of Aeromexico, is likely to offer a service between LA/Ontario International Airport and Puerto Penasco, Mexico. 

According to the Press Enterprise news agency, the carrier is expected to offer a 33-seat flight three times per week between the Southern Californian airport and the Mexican resort.

Katharina Calbes, a representative of Los Angeles firm Blaze PR told the agency that the Aerolitoral was in negotiations concerning the flights, and could potentially offer a service from both LA/Ontario International Airport, and LAX.

She also asserted that the service would be subsidized by the tourism developments ongoing in the resort in Sonora, on the Gulf of California. 

Gabriel Huerta, Assistant to the Director of the Mexico Tourism Board’s Los Angeles office, told Press Enterprise: “The local facilities are very excited about this flight. It promises to bring in more tourists, more people to the area.”

Officials from LA/Ontario International Airport would not confirm the flight.

Gas Prices in Rocky Point Cheaper than U.S.

Monday, August 13th, 2007

 Gasline prices in Rocky Point are about two-thirds of the price of gasoline in most of the United States, and about one-half the price in high priced areas.
   Gasoline in Rocky Point, Sonora, Mexico is sold for $2.17 per gallon.  The last reported price was $6.27 pesos per liter of gasoline.  There are 3.785 liters to a gallon, and the current exchange rate is $10.90 pesos to  the dollar. 

Drug-smuggling inquiry closes down shuttle to Rocky Point

Friday, August 10th, 2007
Get today’s Arizona Republic front page
Sean Holstege
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 8, 2007 12:00 AM
A popular lower-cost shuttle service between Phoenix and Rocky Point has been shut down amid allegations that its owners were involved in a conspiracy to smuggle drugs and launder the proceeds. 

Federal agents raided the bus stand of Mota’s Place Shuttle last week in the border town of Lukeville as arrest warrants were issued for the owners of the west Phoenix company and other defendants.

“I drove out there last Sunday. I saw nothing. No vans. Nothing,” said Mike Jarvinen, whose Head Out to Rocky Point company shuttles mostly out-of-town tourists to the Sea of Cortez resort for $195 per person. He said authorities regularly use dogs and X-rays to search his shuttle vans.


Before the raid, he said, there were half a dozen vans in Mota’s Lukeville lot.

The company, whose service name is Transporte Mota’s Place Shuttle, ran six 15-seat shuttles to Rocky Point, or Puerto Peñasco, every day, charging $40 a trip. The service was popular with budget travelers and people visiting relatives in western Sonora.

Passengers and others familiar with the company said the shuttles were usually half- or two-thirds full.

A grand jury indicted 47 defendants, including the company’s owners, last week on a total of 115 counts. Among those named were Gustavo Mota Sr., Gustavo Mota Jr. and Christian Enrique Mota. The Motas have been the registered owners of Mota’s Place Shuttle since 1991.

The Motas were charged with conspiracy, racketeering and conducting narcotics deals on a telephone. Calls to the bus station on West Van Buren Street went unanswered. The closing of their business leaves a void in budget service to Rocky Point. In addition to Jarvinen’s luxury service, travelers have other, albeit limited options for getting to western Sonora.

According to puerto penasco.com, a travel and news site about the resort, Kona Shuttle takes people in Mercedes-Benz vans for $100-$180, depending on the number of passengers. The fare pays for a round trip.

Jarvinen said he is seeing an increase in business as word of Mota’s closing spreads.

The investigation is led by the Phoenix Police Department, which is working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other federal agencies. Investigators and prosecutors declined to comment on the ongoing case but described it as big and weeks in the making.

ADOT and Mexico are Working Together

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Getting There

By Garin Groff of the Tribune
Mexico travelers can get Web updates
Arizona drivers have gotten pretty spoiled with all the real-time traffic information available on the 511 phone line or the Web. But that ends whenever we cross the border on trips to Mexico.

It’s already enough that we have to struggle with the language barrier and the metric system – but it’s more frustrating to not have all the information we’re so used to here.

That’s changing with a new Web-based system that alerts drivers to construction work and collisions that are tying up traffic.

The Arizona Department of Transportation worked with its counterpart agency in Mexico to build an online map that shows the same kind of things ADOT already does for Arizona.

It’s the first international project of its type in this nation.

ADOT set up the project after training transportation officials in the Mexican state of Sonora to post information on Arizona’s Web site, www.az511. com.

You can find the link to the postings from Sonora at www.az511.gov/Sonora. The map shows highways in southern Arizona and Sonora.

It lists construction projects or events that could slow drivers. It even lists severe weather or collisions. The postings also are in English and Spanish.

The information from Sonora isn’t as extensive as what’s available in parts of Arizona, said ADOT spokeswoman Diane D’Angelo.

Sonora lacks the roadway sensors or cameras that Arizona transportation officials have used to monitor highways, so the Sonora map won’t have as much real-time information. But D’Angelo said officials in Sonora will get some real-time information from law enforcement officers that can be put online.

“Obviously, we’re in the infancy stages of this and it will get better,” she said.

ADOT is looking to add the Sonora information on the 511 phone line that drivers can already use to get information about Arizona travel. Officials are still trying to figure out the best way to get information on the phone, D’Angelo said.

“You are dealing with accents and Spanish pronunciations of Mexican towns,” she said. “Do we call it Rocky Point, or do we call it Puerto Penasco?”

ADOT is also looking to add real-time information on how long the wait is at border crossings. That capability should come in a few months.

Rocky Point Shuttle

Information posted by Shea Peil at seasideshea@gmail.com  

New Sonora Traffic Website

Monday, June 18th, 2007

MESA, Ariz. — A new Web site is warning people who plan on driving into Mexico about construction work, severe weather, road closures and car accidents. 

The Arizona Department of Transportation recently launched the site, http://www.az511.gov/Sonora, to report details about traffic tie-ups in the Mexican state of Sonora, which borders Arizona.


The site, modeled after one that has long been posting traffic information for drivers in Arizona, is thought to be the first international project of its type in the United States. 

To get the site up and running, Arizona transportation workers trained Sonoran officials to post traffic information online. The postings are in English and Spanish. 

The information about Sonora’s highways isn’t yet as extensive as what’s available in parts of Arizona, said Diane D’Angelo, a spokeswoman for Arizona’s transportation department. 

But, she said Mexican officials will get real-time information from law enforcement officers. 

“Obviously, we’re in the infancy stages of this and it will get better,” she said. 

Arizona also is looking to add Sonora information to a telephone hot line that offers travelers traffic information. The 511 line already exists for Arizona drivers. 

But, D’Angelo said officials were still trying to figure out how to record that information. 

“You are dealing with accents and Spanish pronunciations of Mexican towns,” she said. “Do we call it Rocky Point, or do we call it Puerto Penasco?” 

D’Angelo said the transportation department also plans to add information in the next few months about how long the wait is at border crossings. 

Information from: East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune, http://www.aztrib.com


Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

New Beginnings for Shuttle

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Sea Side is proud to announce that our shuttle is once again available for guest traveling to Rocky Point. Our shuttle is an 11 passenger van with Dvd, Wireless headphones, and I-Pod plug ins, which will make the 4 hour trip fly right by! We also have a cooler with sodas and water for guest to enjoy. Pick up is available at 4 different locations in the Phoenix area, including our Tatum & Thunderbird office. The Rocky Point Shuttle is perfect for groups traveling together, girls getaways, and for anyone who just doesn’t want to drive themselves. Sea Side provides safe, reliable transportation to Rocky Point Mexico, so leave the driving to us! 

      Shuttle Photos in Mexico     Shuttle Photos in Mexico     Shuttle Photos in Mexico

      Shuttle Photos in Mexico     Shuttle Photos in Mexico        Shuttle Photos in Mexico

New Shuttle Prices  as of 7/30/08 – (not including the 6.3% tax):

1 to 4 passengers is $170.00 per person

5 to 7 passengers is $160.00 per person

8 to 11 passengers is $100.00 per person

One Way Per Person – $95.00 per person

Children 5 and under are free

NOTE: Full payment is due a time of booking. 

To make the journey to Rocky Point, we do require a minimum of 2 people round trip, 4 people for a one way trip, and 4 people for the Mayan Palace.  

Transportation to Mayan Palace: 4 people minimum; $25 + tax per seat extra for Round Trip and for One Way.

New Door to Door requirements: We have 4 pickup locations that are covered in the prices above; Sky Harbor Airport, SeaSide Phoenix Office, Eastside at the Flying J Truck Stop (6700 W Lathem St), and Westside at the Mobile on the Run Gas Station (3303 W Queen Creek Rd). If a guest is requesting a specific location, door to door, the following fees apply – NO EXCEPTIONS! 

One way fee is an additional $25 per location.

Roundtrip fee is an additional $45 per location.

Our drivers can accommodate a restroom stop, but no others stops (such as grocery shopping) are allowed due to the drivers strict schedule.

Cancellation Fees: Any cancellation made 7 days prior to travel date will be charged a fee of $25 per person/seat. No refunds for cancellations made 6 days or less.

Here is a printable map showing pick up locations, and a map of the Phoenix Airport to show pich up locations at the Airport. Airport Pick-ups always meet on the South side please: For Terminal 2, please meet at end near Taxi’s; For Terminal 3, meet by Door 2 – Shuttle Pickup; For Terminal 4, by Door 2. If you have any questions, please call Sea Side at the numbers listed below.

   Shuttle Map with Color.JPG Scan002, February 06, 2008.jpg

Sea Side Shuttle service is ready to bring you to your favorite resort in Rocky Point. All you have to do is call 602-404-2982 or 1-877-276-5745. You can also visit Puerto Penasco Shuttle

Information posted by Shea at Shea@rockypointexperts.com