TRAX trains slower with two new lines, computer glitches

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  • Auburn Murray, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 7:14 p.m.

    I ride the Trax line every day during the week to work and to school at the U. Personally, I do not notice the trains running late, at least not when I ride. The schedules changed, but they have left on time for me with the exception of one of the first days of the new lines. I guess I just don't see the problems with the time that everyone's talking about. I'm sure it'll be fixed over time though. Still, it saves me at least $40 to $50 a month, and I only have to fill my car up with gas once a month now. I'm not saying riding Trax is my preferred way of travel, but it is less expensive. I think I big part of the problem is the design of the new trains. I don't think they can hold as many people. There's not enough seating, and there's not enough horizontal bars along the cars to hold on to for those who have to stand. Overall, there's room for improvement, but I don't think that things are really as bad or as different as people think.

  • Sego Lilly Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    The schedule worked 98% of the time before the change" Yep you could count on it being anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes late which meant that if you had a bus/trax to catch you would just miss it by 3 minutes because the CEO or another boss thinks that it's polite to be late. I hate being on the bus and have them pull over at a bus stop because they are running 3 minutes ahead of schedule.

    I have lived in places that tell you to be at the bus stop five minutes early as the bus could be early.

    Having the buses run late is rude being early evem 5 minutes early is okay in my book.

    Oh and the Red line you can catch in Sandy and it goes all the way to the U. No need to transfer to another trax.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin, Noodlekaboodle did not say TRAX was faster and cheaper than your car, he said it was faster and cheaper to build than a subway or an elevated system.

    That being said, your numbers are faulty. The longest possible trip on trax is now from the South Daybreak station to the Medical Center, 28 miles. This trip takes about 45 minutes with no traffic in a car. The train will do it in 61 minutes.

    I'm not sure how you calculated your fuel economy, but right now, with gas running about $3.45 a gallon, that works out to about $0.115 a mile for your car just in gas. If you take the longest trip on the train (and calculating the correct fare of $2.25, not $2.50), you get $0.08 a mile for the longest trip. You mileage may vary. Even the hypothetical 17 mile trip is only $0.13 a mile, which compares well if you have to pay for parking and factor in maintenance. And if you're stuck in traffic, you're not getting 30 miles a gallon, even in your subcompact.

  • utahboni Ogden, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    For the people who say "give them a break", UTA doesn't deserve a break. They must have used an inexperienced scheduler who didn't even walk through the schedule on paper. Say, for instance you want to get to SLCC from SL Central after arriving on the Front Runner. You can take the Sandy TRAX to 21st So and try to catch the 217, but 217 is scheduled to leave the station 2 minutes before the TRAX arrives. You can wait for the 218 bus from SL Central, but it leaves the station 25 minutes after the train arrives or 5 minutes before the train gets in. In either case, there is a 25 to 28 minute wait, so to get to SLCC at the same time as before 7 Aug, you have to take an earlier train. The schedule worked 98% of the time before the change. If it's not broke, don't fix it.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    Noodlekaboodle | 12:16 a.m. Aug. 24, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    rational, it is a balance, building a tunnel or elevated train is more expensive and takes longer. Light rail is faster and cheaper.
    And people die. But hey, we saved some money.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    As a rider of the new Red line, I have to say that I expected some delays as soon as the U came back in session. There is a huge difference in the number of people who ride once the students are riding too. The U has very restricted parking, and gives all students and staff transit passes to compensate.

    Short term teething pains are to be expected while the new system is brought up to full capacity. I'll reserve judgement for a little while on how efficient the system is while UTA tweaks things.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 24, 2011 8:31 a.m.


    Trax is one of the most expensive light rail systems in the world on a per-mile basis. A regular fare one-way trip is now $2.50, and the longest trip you can possibly take is only 17 miles - $0.15/mile. A subcompact at 30 mpg will cost you half that - about $0.08/mile.

    Also, that 17 mile journey takes 45 minutes, which comes out to roughly 23 mph. I can make same the trip in a subcompact in 20 minutes.

    So what makes you say light rail is faster and cheaper?

    Everyone needs to face the facts: Trax was a boondoggle built for the Olympic bid to show the IOC how environmetally conscious we are. It was poorly planned and is constantly mismanaged. It's time to admit that Trax served its purpose (which had nothing to do with fast, cheap, efficient public transportation), get rid of it, and give us our lanes back in downtown (which could make a real difference in terms of commute times and pollution from idling in traffic).

  • utahboni Ogden, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    The problems with the schedules are a result of the Midvale office scheduling the new lines from the perspective of people moving from the south and west towards downtown. They didn't take into account the people who were already in the city and commuting to or from SL Central. The WV TRAX only has two cars, which is fine from WV to 21st South, but from 21st South to SL Central, there are at least 4 cars worth of passengers picked up. People are packed in the way they are on trains in New Delhi.

    Once you get to SL Central, the Front Runner has already left because the TRAX or bus is late. In the morning, when leaving the station, the WV busses and TRAX leave a few minutes before the train gets in. We frequently spend 29 minutes standing around SL Central.

    One reason the TRAX is delayed is because it has no accommodation for bicycles. The bike riders stand in the isle and block access to other passengers trying to enter or exit. Sometimes the bike riders have to roll their bike off and on the TRAX at each stop blocking the door open.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Aug. 24, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    BTO says'...You ain't seen nothin yet!

  • Name Already Used Fort Duchesne, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    UTA failed to use the time they had during the construction to plan. Hello! they knew three lines would be converging at the courthouse. I'm disappointed that UTA has thought this stuff out way ahead of time.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 12:16 a.m.

    rational, it is a balance, building a tunnel or elevated train is more expensive and takes longer. Light rail is faster and cheaper.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 11:22 p.m.

    "Additionally, there have been multiple, non-UTA-related, vehicle accidents on TRAX lines that have resulted in disrupted service, jamming up the lines while official investigations are conducted and debris is cleared."

    Which is why many cities choose elevated trains or subways. Even if they only did that downtown, it would make a huge difference.

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 8:23 p.m.

    A heads-up through the media that they were anticipating extra long commutes would have been nice.

    My daughter transferred to the U this year and was looking forward to the public transportation. Her TRAX trains on the red line were 30 minutes late both Monday and Tuesday morning. Because you have to take the blue line from Sandy to meet the red line, it leaves you stranded and stressed standing on the platform the whole time. Of course by the time the red line train finally arrives the platforms are so full of people waiting to catch the 2 or 3 trains that haven't arrived that the train is crammed full.

    To make matters worse, her train home today was stopped by a car accident that hit an upright pole by the library. Only 1 out of her 4 trips on the line was on time.

    Sure, there are glitches to be worked out, but I think many students will look at the commute time with TRAX and choose to drive instead.

    In the mean time I guess we will allow an extra 60 minutes instead of 30.

  • Auburn Murray, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 6:59 p.m.

    Get over it folks...just give them some more time for cryin out loud.