Please justify to the rest of the state why SLC downtown should have free
bus/TRAX service while the rest of the state has to pay for it. We all pay the
same taxes and we all merit the same benefits of free service. What makes SLC so
special? Because they own the UTA and force the rest of the state to subsidize
free service for only the downtown area?Talk about criminal and
defrauding the rest of the state and cities who are also paying the taxes to
fund this public transportaion.Why isn't AG Mark Shurtleff
doing his job to stop this corruption?
Yup. People always love "free stuff."Trouble is that
someone, somewhere, somehow has to pay for that "free stuff" other
people are so hapopy to receive.Taxpayers already heavily subsidize
UTA. How much have I paid for that over theyears, even though I have NEVER set
foot on UTA property or inside a UTA bus or train? Why should I keep paying,
let alone pay even more so other people can enjoy "free stuff?"All these socially conscious types who want to keep free bus rides need to sit
down and start their own "Free Stuff & Bus Coompany" and give free
bus service. Just don't make me pay for it. YOU pick up the tab since you
want to provide it.As British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
stated "Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money to
spend." Well, you are already spending too much of other people's
If they want to continue free zone on trax then that should be fine. Discontinue
this free zone on buses becasue a lot of people doesn't obey. Go ahead and
do that. Plain and simple and people will know it from City Center to Court
House and no more after that on trax!
Only the homeless and poor that live in SLC should be given free rides for six
whole city blocks? Does that make sense to anyone?If you are
homeless and capable of moving. Then the six blocks that you can ride for free
is not going to do you any good. If you're hurting for money that you
can't pay less than $1 to ride, then a mile walk is not going to kill you.
I walk more than that each day in the city.If you're that sick
or elderly that you can't function within the six blocks of the free fare
zone, then you should really be looking at long term disability or seeking other
help; rather than trying to get by saving a buck a day. You're problems
are much more severe than having to pay your fair fare share would cause you.I'm sorry, but, we can no longer afford to pay your way through
life. It's not heartless, it's just the truth. We're just as
broke as you are, except our necks are on the line to repay all of the debt.
Not just the poor are benefitting from free fares. Shoppers and workers use
trax to go short distances downtown. It's a cool program. Some people get their first intro to public transportation that way. Surely
there must be a win/win option here. Think creatively. Can poor people get a
limited use pass? Can stores give validations for short rides to shoppers as
they do for parking? Can businesses provide the same for their workers to do
business? How to preserve the advantages of the free fare zone and avoid the
A gross mistake was made years ago when UTA was first established. A ballot
measure was put forward to create UTA as either a free fare service or a low
fare service. The voters voted for a low fare service and UTA has been raising
fares ever since and trying to get rid of any semblance of free fares or even
low fares. And UTA's fare collections have not stopped them from
requesting local tax increases to run their operations. The late State
Legislator Sam Taylor was a great advocate for free fate mass transit but since
his death UTA has pretty much had its way.
I hope they do end the Free Fare Zone. It'll get the homeless off the
downtown buses. I even wish they would remove it from the TRAX, as well.Really, the free fare zone is already so small that the only people
really benefiting are the homeless and/or drunks. Few people live within the
free fare zone, anyway, and those that do usually aren't too badly off.
From the article someone called the proposal, "an attack on working and poor
people." That sounds ridiculous. I very highly doubt the leaders of UTA
were sitting in their office plotting an attack to undercut the working and
poor. More likely they were thinking of ways to save money, found this way, and
proposed it to save taxpayer money. This sounds like the man is trying to put
new motives behind UTA's actions so the working and poor will feel
threatened. Another quote from the other side is, "Fare
disputes sometimes lead to assaults on drivers, he said. 'I'm
concerned about the safety of our operators.' " If assaults are really
happening, it's a problem. But in the 8 years I rode buses every M-F
between the west side and downtown there was never an assault on the driver.
Arguments and tension: yes; violence or threats: no. The fear sounds contrived
in order to mask that it's just a business decision.I wish
things could be more straight forward. UTA should say they want to save money.
The opposition should acknowledge saving money is good and perhaps propose
another way to do so.
My2Cents,Correction, the entire state does not pay taxes to UTA only
those entities receiving UTA service pay a portion of local sales tax to UTA.
It was a mistake for the public to vote to allow UTA to be a low fare service
without identifying specifically what a low fare operation is and how high fares
can be raised. Now, UTA is free to raise fares whenever they want. For those
opposed to free fares allow me to point out that it is not free. Sales taxes
are paying for the service where ever UTA goes and even the poorest among us pay
It goes hand-in-hand with Salt Lake City's plan to increase parking meter
hours and fees.
One thing here which most people are missing is that this is not a matter of
"oh the poor people are ripping me off!" UTA and SLC entered
into an agreement a couple of decades ago in which UTA agreed to operate the
free-fare zone for 100 years in recompense for the disproportional share of
street wear and traffic woes SLC endured when nearly every single bus route
hubbed out of the downtown area. Now UTA is trying to weasel out of their
agreement.UTA's issues seem to stem from two areas: Cost, and
fare enforcement. They claim they're losing $192k annually.
However, they have the highest paid executive and board members of any transit
system in the country. UTA's counterpart in liberal LA, pays its head half
the money to run a transit system 10 times as large. I'm sure UTA could
trip executive salaries enough to make up $192k. Fare enforcement
is easy. The free fare zone bus could be a dedicated shuttle line, circulating
and never leaving the zone. All other lines get paid for.Easy,
saves money, and no more whining from UTA.
Must be a 100 year recession, as UTA wants out of 100 year contract.Free fare helps business. People can pop out of work to do errands, shop, or
eat, without getting their car out of parking, and back--a worsening hassle and
cost. No one is going to pay bus fares or parking to do those quick trips to
browse or eat when it makes the lunch more expensive than something easier and
close. Old folks who can't drive safely or carry groceries a couple blocks
might be forced to order by internet. So much for buy local and pay sales
tax.Take a look at the businesses on State beyond 400 South. Free
fare so people don't have to walk through blight to get to a destination
might bring up the whole area and sales tax as well.Some of these
awful people who act like the elderly and disabled who fought the wars and built
the city should not get a break may find the life they save by giving unsafe
drivers a free fare is there own. Old or disabled folks who aren't safe
drivers might run over some of these people who have such
Because, the UTA is so heavily subsidized by tax revenues and gov't grants,
all bus fares should be -0-. Bus routes could then be planned for the riders who
use them. Empty busses would no longer exist. Lastly, the UTA executive
compensation should be reduced so that it compares with other local
governmentail entities. Taxpayers cannot afford the current system.