Some commuters to Hill Air Force Base are going to find the bus trip taking a lot longer.
The Utah Transit Authority is canceling route 74, from downtown Salt Lake City to Hill, effective Monday.The UTA said route 74 has an average of only 5.4 passengers per trip.
"When that happens, we have to consolidate or otherwise reconfigure our routes to get the most efficient use out of our equipment," said UTA spokesman Jerry Benson.
A new route 70 will go to Layton Hills Mall for a connection to a bus to the base.
For riders who now leave downtown Salt Lake City at 4:21 a.m. or 4:58 a.m. on route 74, the UTA has scheduled bus 69, which begins near 4800 S. Highland Drive, to swing through downtown at 4:29 a.m.
Other Salt Lake Valley residents destined for Hill can still take buses 65, 76 or 77. No changes are in line for those schedules, Benson said. Route 65 originates from Fashion Place Mall in Murray, 76 serves the south Redwood Road area, and 77 begins in North Salt Lake.
Layton resident Paul Blair said he had heard rumors no options to route 74 would be available, and his phone calls and e-mail messages to UTA for more information went unanswered.
"We should have responded," said Benson. "We have answers for him, and they should have been communicated."
When the UTA did respond to Blair on Tuesday, the commuter discovered the five-mile bus trip from his home to Hill could take nearly an hour - compared to 20 minutes on route 74.
"This is not very encouraging information," said Blair.