Published: Friday, Jan. 24 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
Frontrunner, along all of its route, must become more of a transit workhorse
that it is now. How? More stops and more power in the train consists. Right
now, Frontrunner is useless to many who live along its route.
I do agree that the cap needs to be removed. I also think that any bill that
would raise or remove the cap needs to specify that a portion of the increase
must be used to keep fares cheap. By cheap I mean current bus and
Trax fares would be reduced to between $1.00 and $1.25 each way. Frontrunner
fares would also drop 50%-60% in price.Doing this alone would
increase ridership 50% from where it is currently. That would mean 7.5% of the
population using transit.Using the rest as follows would have
similar increases:Double Tracking/Electrification of Frontrunner -
15 Min service -- Estimated to be nearly 300% more riders or 40,000 daily10 to 15 minute headways on major bus routes and tripling of high
frequency service areas -- Estimated to be 200% increase in bus riders or
roughly 150,000 daily riders.BRT, LRT and Streetcar expansion on the
unified plan would increase usage along their planned routes by between 50,000
and 75,000 daily riders.The numbers above are based on ridership in
2020. In total we could see in 2020 between 350,000 and 500,000 daily transit
users. Or in other words, 12% to 16% transit usage.
No one has granted the "right" to government to rob from the poorest
members of society to promote any "service" that does not serve everyone
equally. TRAX and Frontrunner do not serve the needs of most of us. It is
unthinkable that someone working for Zion's Bank would promote the
confiscation of private funds for TRAX or anything like TRAX. What is he
thinking? In a society where many of us work multiple jobs to pay our bills,
why would he have us spend another two hours per day waiting for a bus to take
us to the TRAX station and then taking a bus from the TRAX station to our
workplace when we can drive there in ten minutes? I think that his
"solution" is absurd and that it would unfairly tax those who cannot
afford the time to dilly-dally with TRAX.
How about giving employers an incentive to keep workers at home two or three
days out of the week? So many employees could work from home but are not allowed
because their managers need to see BIS.
As my handle indicates I am a socialist mostly. I believe society needs some
big time socialist solutions, particularly in areas like health care and the
environment. But I do think private enterprise should continue in some areas,
one of them being transportation. I am one of the decreasing number of people
who remember the private Bamberger RR, operating between Salt Lake and Ogden.
In terms of speed, frequency of service, and recovery from stops its service was
vastly superior to that of UTA Frontrunner. One of my proposals, before the
construction of Frontrunner between SLC and Ogden was to find a short line
concessionaire to operate the old D&RGW trackage between those two cities to
provide a reference point for UTA, and besides, the trackage was already in
place! Think of the savings. My suggestion received no attention by anybody.
It was a good idea nevertheless.
I would certainly vote AGAINST any attempt to throw more money at UTA - unless -
they take whatever steps are necessary to lower the obscene salaries of
management at UTA.UTA SHOULD be part of UDOT. Its' only
natural since both UDOT and UTA are in the business of transportation.As things currently stand; ANY extra money going to UTA, I fear, would go to
nothing but higher salaries for the UTA bosses.
UTA took away a number of bus stops- that really encouraged using the bus. And
it cost money to remove the signs. But, really, even if 90% of commuters/car
drivers used mass transit, would air quality improve up to the next level (i.e.
red to yellow; yellow to green), when we have an inversion? We should strive to
reduce emissions; but, that may not be enough. Are there ways to actually clean
the air? Hopefully, somebody is looking into this aspect of the problem.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments