Major service cuts may be announced this afternoon for the Utah Transit Authority's new FrontRunner commuter rail train, scheduled to open in April from Weber County to Salt Lake City.
Several express bus routes from Weber and Davis counties into Salt Lake County could also be eliminated. The reductions are planned to be discussed during a 2:30 p.m. meeting of the UTA Board of Trustees.
UTA has yet to release any details of the proposed service reductions, but an e-mail sent late Tuesday to commissioners in Davis and Weber counties outlines one scenario the agency plans to submit to its board today for review.
Under the scenario, commuter rail service would be eliminated on Saturdays through Davis and Weber counties, and also on weekdays after 7 p.m. The reduction would save UTA about $2 million, according to the e-mail. Another $1.5 million in cuts were listed for express bus and local routes through the counties, and $300,000 in reductions for Paratransit service.
UTA said it is proposing the cuts because Davis and Weber county officials have yet to pass a 0.05 percent sales tax increase to offset a loss of revenue from the recent reduction of the statewide sales tax on food. The other four counties that UTA services have already passed the tax.
But the agency said it is still open to changes if the counties decide to pass the tax.
"We want to be very clear that we know we are still discussing this issue with you and that we may make a future adjustment ...," the e-mail, written by government relations manager Justin Jones, stated.Today's meeting will be at UTA headquarters: 3600 South 700 West. Public comment will be accepted. The board may or may not direct UTA to include the reductions in its 2008 budget, which is scheduled for final approval in December.