Comments about ‘UTA built trains on the backs of big-money lobbyists, but can the system be sustained?’

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Published: Thursday, June 7 2012 11:00 p.m. MDT

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Marrion Barry
provo, Ut

Pretty ironic that the state that howls the loudest about less government and "we hate the feds' are top of the list for spending other peoples' money, from the same feds they despise. It's time to grow up and acknowledge that you are part of the U.S. and you will always have to play by the rules. Actually it looks like you know how to play the rules pretty well.

Secondly, mass transit isn't about saving your personal gas money. It's about reducing fuel use overall, cutting pollution along the Wasatch Front, and reducing congestion on the highways. Utah should be called the "It's all about me" State.

Salt Lake City, UT

"I don't like the idea of people who don't use the system having to subsidize it."

Oh dear. Senator Madsen's quote rather blows me away, because it comes off as rather uneducated and woefully misinformed. For a couple of reasons. One, public transportation is by its nature subsidized. It's subsidized in every city in the nation. It's not meant to be run like a business. Two, we all pay for infrastructure that we do not use! We all pay for roads that we do not use, but we are okay with it. We all pay for sewers, schools, garbage disposal that we do not use. We are okay with it. Why? Because we recognize that it is vital for our city and state. Hmm. Well, I bet the average misinformed voter will eat up Madsen's rhetoric and vote for him because of it.

Folks, we are becoming a world-class city. Commuter rail will extend across the Wasatch Front. Light rail reaches all corners of the Salt Lake Valley. Do I use all of that? Of course not. But I recognize the innumerable value that this has for the well-being of our city.

Fern RL

"...consider one round trip between Ogden and SLC, 36 miles each way. At 30 cents per mile, the cost would be $21.60 to go to work and back one time, assuming you don't have to pay for parking. You can ride FrontRunner for $10.20 round trip, if you don't have a pass."

If you also consider buying a $189.00 per month monthly pass just so you won't have to buy a separate ticket each time you commute by FrontRunner, and you commute five days per week, four weeks per month, taking no vacation and only one holiday and one "sick" day per month, you might come close to breaking even on the cost of buying the tickets each day.

What I would like to see, is for UTA to give a better incentive for buying monthly passes. Let them allow for days when someone needs to use an alternate source of transportation or is gone on vacation. Does it really cost that much to run a full train? Or, does the cost reflect the lost revenue by not utilizing the empty seats?

Salt Lake City, UT

My concern continues to be bonus money that has been and most likely will be paid to upper management. Shouldn't happen. If they can't work for the excellent salary they receive then find someone else. The bonus money should be put into maintenance or turned back to the city/county/state where the tax money came from.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: RanchHand Huntsville, UT
"Conservative Utahn's really don't mind government spending, as long as the money's spent on conservative Utahn's pet projects"

Probably explains we question the wisdom of the GSA's $820,000 lavish party in Las Vegas.

Salt Lake City, UT

We need UTA as functional and as cheap-per-ride as possible. It benefits both riders and non-riders because auto traffic causes close to half the air pollution. We subsidize highway building, which only increases air pollution. I suggest a (bigger) dedicated sales tax, which will provide a reasonably predictable revenue stream, because almost everyone out buying "stuff" has driven and created air pollution or has used UTA. I hate the idea of no downtown parking for free, but that will help make UTA successful; the less parking, the more riders. A well funded UTA providing excellent service is an absolute necessity for anyone who wants to live here and breathe.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

Thank you JDL you are on the money. All those who think UTA in any form is going to be profitable stand and raise your hand! It is another whack at the poor taxpayer. My neighbor works for UTA and says the bus rider pays 15 cents on the dollar for his or her ride. We never seem able to have our legislators tell the truth on this.

Salt Lake City, UT

As capitalism decays, the road network and all that goes with it will become unaffordable to average people. Ten years from now, if not sooner, we are going to be grateful for this rail network.

Cedar City, UT

Add the cost of construction, the cost of lobbying, and the cost of day-to-day maintenance, operation and replacement/expansion. Amortize that over the expected life of the investment to determine the annual cost of UTA. Then subtract the average yearly revenue from passenger fares. Then, ask yourself, was this really a good use of taxpayer dollars?

We desperately need smarter voters!

Orem, UT

I knew there was a reason I disliked those trains...

Anti Government
Alpine, UT

This is the same sorry discussion that happens everywhere they have "mass transit". Who came up with that term "mass" transit because in reality there is no transit of "mass" amounts of people. I digress.

Republicans ought to be embarrassed they were conned into this system that will forever be a black hole.

You can read it in the comments here though. There are plenty of people that simply don't care what a failure it is for most everyone or the exorbitant expense or the fact it will steal money need for higher priorities.

The reality is there is not a more expensive way to transport people based on the statistical usage patterns.

Government=waste and this will be just another example. Mass transit, car pool lanes etc. Scams to use govt money that NEVER achieve all the promises that Liberals make BEFORE they are implemented.

They will say anything to get what they want and then we are stuck financing their agenda. Just the way they wan it/ Literally, agenda at any cost.

Go talk to Greece about how that is working out for them.

Medical Lake, Washington

In case many people have noticed, the Wasatch front has become a scenario of high density living. When I was a small boy, a drive from Provo to Ogden meant passing through a lot of farmland on the way. That's gone forever.

I suspect that today, or tomorrow, TRAX might seem like an expensive ordeal, but I would be willing to bet that by the end of the decade more and more people will be glad it's there.

where I live currently, such a thing would be impractical, I live in a very rural area and I don't need a bus or a train, I need a pickup truck to haul hay for my livestock. In my opinion, the Wasatch front, and a few other key area in the country are best suited for public transportation - like the high density areas. In such areas, cars are going to seem more and more troublesome and when that day comes, then it is too late to ask for a sleek running public transportation system that has worked out the bugs already.

Fern RL

I still miss the public transportation that was available in Germany in 1970. It is sad, but true, that Utah has a very long way to go before it could even come close to a transit plan similar to what I experienced there so many years ago. It is clear to me, though, that we cannot keep relying on our own vehicles, though.

Drew Chamberlain
Layton, UT

Shut it down!

Danbury, CT

At least they could use the money to buy more attractive train cars...these are hideous and look like something from the 70's.

Salem, UT

Research has suggested that the typical return on lobby dollars is 25 to 1 so the UTA return even if inflated in spectacular- the real issue though is what other thing do you know where you can get returns like that- generally those are illegal at best but all of this is legal and we wonder why Washington and State Houses are broken and people have no trust in the system- I will happily take a 10 to 1 return on my retirement funds- perhaps I need to hire a better lobbyist

City, Ut

Dear Orem Parent 2:34am
I would think your ire be equally directed at the lobbyists who have happily enriched themselves.....

Robbie K

Is this news or opinion? I'm having an increasingly difficult time figuring this out at the DesNews,

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