Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Bus and train riders will have to find alternate transportation on Labor Day.
The Utah Transit Authority announced that no buses, TRAX or FrontRunner trains will be in service on Monday in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Regular service will resume on Tuesday.
The agency said the holiday service halt was a cost-saving measure aimed at providing passengers with more public transit service on non-holidays.
Since 2010, UTA has discontinued service on Memorial Day and Labor Day, in addition to Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day — except for ski service on those winter holidays — with reduced service on the day after Thanksgiving.
“Back when the recession (began), we made the decision to eliminate service on Memorial Day and Labor Day as well as (the other major holidays) as a budget cutting measure,” said UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter. “Our sales tax revenues were down and we were faced having to make service cuts to balance the budget.”
Ultimately the decision was made to cut service on those two holidays because they typically had lower ridership.
“By eliminating all service on those two holidays, we were able to maintain year-round service on some other routes that would have been cut otherwise,” Carpenter said.
He said the agency wanted to affect the fewest riders with their decision while offering the most service possible throughout the rest of the year.
“We recognize that it is an inconvenience to those who normally would ride on those holidays. … Not everyone gets the day off obviously,” he said. “But overall the benefit to maintaining service elsewhere throughout the year (aids) more riders.”
Carpenter said that if the economy improves and revenues increase, then UTA will reconsider the current holiday service reductions. Last year, UTA recorded approximately 41 million individual trips on its bus, commuter and light rail lines.
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