The fares need to be lower. Then it will succeed. Public transit is supposed
to be an excellent value, much less expensive than driving.
Remember the dust up caused by the news that UTA officials were traveling to
Europe to study train systems? Accountability called for. What did they learn
that helped them/us?
To those that think UTA should have waited to build rail, you might be surprised
to know that UTA has one of the higher ridership levels in the country for the
area it serves.To those complaining about the commutes due to
express buses. I hope you are equally pushing your cities and county (Utah) to
increase the UTA tax portion again. If this were to happen, the Lehi extension
of Trax could be fast tracked to happen in the next 5 to 10 years. That would
make it a 60 minute ride from Lehi to Downtown SLC via Trax.I know
some people keep thinking buses are cheaper but they aren't.The
personnel costs to move an equal amount of people on buses compared to Trax is 5
to 1. 5 bus drivers for every 1 Trax driver to move the same people.In the next 30 years, UTA will spend about $100 Million on train cars and
repairs. In the same 30 years, UTA will spend at least $1 Billion on bus
replacement and repairs. Looking at these, which would you rather pay?Keep in mind, they both move about the same amount of people daily.
I don't know what crazy routes you are taking, but my 45 minute commute
from downtown to Provo was extended to 57 minutes. 45 minutes is assuming
perfect traffic, which rarely happens because most of you people don't know
how to drive. I feel much safer on the train without the giant lifted pickups
tailgating me at 80 mph. And on top of that I can relax, do some work, take a
nap, or whatever else I feel like. FrontRunner is a huge boon to the Wasatch
Front, and we should all be grateful we have it.
There are definitely some scenarios where the FrontRunner would be really
useful. It just doesn't seem to be close to even a majority of the
scenarios actually occurring for people down south trying to get somewhere up
Billions of dollars ago, there were commuter busses taking half the time or less
in moving commuters to places of business and industry. Those busses had good
internet allowing commuters to 'work on the go', allowed seats to lean
back to catch up on sleep, allowed lights on or off per seat. They were really,
really nice for commuters. My bus was standing-room only so it's not like
it was an underused investment.Strangely billions ("yes, with a
B") of dollars later those nice busses have been tossed aside in favor of a
much, much slower and more dangerous rail system. Where many commuters once had
a single connection from home to work, they now have multiple points of failure
-- my commute used to be 1hr, 15 minutes each way and now easily hits 3 hours
each way some days in making multiple connections. Six hour commutes on slow,
uncomfortable trains with intermittent, unusable internet is not an
improvement.At many transit connection hundreds of commuters are
shuttled in a hurried, stressed masses across multiple rail crossings with
neither gates nor horns. It's interesting that the billion dollar
investments couldn't consider safety with at least pedestrian bridges.
Rail connections up the I-15 corridor are nice. They make it easier to connect
SLC to the rest of the valley for Jazz games, the downtown Arts scene, and LDS
tourism and meetings.But replacing the efficient express busses with
commute times that are -- on average! -- twice as long is, indeed, a *major* and
precipitous step in the wrong direction.I work for a large employer
in downtown SLC. My commute by (cancelled) bus took 1hr15 minutes each way.
That was livable. It now takes 2-3 hours each way. That might work if I was
single and just wanted to read books and play video games on the train for the
rest of my life. But suddenly those of us that used to maintain families are
being jarred into having to consider changing employment or residences.
It's not like we all had a few hundred extra dollars lying around to switch
back to commuting by automobile. Some are hoping to form car pools, but I
haven't seen any of those work out yet.And that's what is
perplexing. 80-90% of the train ridership is commuter. And yet commuters are
being pushed back to the freeways.
@ "Z" Trains are more efficient per passenger mile if they're
full, (or near full).You're right if you only count
"operating costs" per mile.Have you seen the 80 million$$?
(sorry the exact cost escapes me) trains garage on 21st south and 9th west?How long will it take to amortize the horrific costs not only for the rail
lines, but also the trains themselves? Trains require a much higher level of
expertise to repair than do buses.Have you ever seen how many UTA
employees do nothing but various assorted "train" functions?True,
UTA received a lot of that "free" money from the federal government to
build the lines, - except as we know its not "free".UTA has
spent almost 3 billion on various "choo choo" trains (and the lines).
You can make A LOT of bus trips for 3 billion! I
wouldn't have had a problem if UTA would have only acquired the
right-of-way at this time and then waited 10 or 20 yrs. til the wasatch front
was more dense to build the trains.The Wasatch front is simply NOT
dense enough yet to justify trains.Buses are the most cost effective
@1Conservative, you have it backwards: Buses are expensive to operate. Per
passenger mile, trains are far more efficient. UTA recovers only about 10% of
the cost of bus service at the fare box. Train fares (both TRAX and
FrontRunner) are recovering over 40% of their operational cost at the fare box.
I took the Express Bus system for years and it wasn't that great either to
be honest. The bus was on time but often times it was standing room only which
was a 45 minute miserable ride. Everyone standing would have to pile out of the
bus while someone in the back got out and then everyone piles back in ...
repeated many times along the way. There were only a few times to pick the
express bus up too ...in the early morning and late afternoon. Frontrunner does
need to fix the time problem no question - being that late leaving folks
standing in the cold and late for work is not acceptable. I'm sure they
will fix it... give UTA some time this is brand new. I will say this ... my son
is taking Front Runner to West Jordan from Provo and he save $200 a month in
gas. Pretty darn good.
The main reason I got my drivers license was so I would not be at the mercy of
UTA. Still the best decision I ever made!
It's not as convenient as driving and sometimes I have no choice but to
drive because bus routes don't cover places I need to go.But
any time I can ride Frontrunner from Ogden to SLC, I'll do it. Why?Because it costs me (senior) only $8.45 round trip on Frontrunner. It
costs a minimum of $16 to drive. And I can take a nap along the way
if I want to. Napping while driving provides much less restful sleep. All
those honking horns keep waking me up.
So save money and drive. I'll bet your bus pass costs more than the gas
with a decent car getting good gas mileage.
Mr. Gaerber: The first thing you need to realize when discussing UTA is that
they exist for 2 main reasons; to supply (and enhance) the salaries of the
bosses, and in a lesser issue; to satisfy the various mayors along their route
so that they can continue to do the first and paramount goal of enriching the
top 10% of salaries at UTA.Both the daybreak and West Valley lines
are running far below capacity (or projections). You can bet frontrunner will
be the same.Frontruner and TRAX make for good P.R. (aren't they
cute?) but the Wasatch front is still way too rural to make them effective as
people movers on the wasatch front.Trains are horrifically expensive
to operate. The more trains (of either type)that UTA adds, the more bus WILL
be curtailed.At this point the only thing you can do is to write
letters to your legislators and/or elected officials asking them to help solve
UTA''s problems.UTA is not about to do it themselves.
UTA should set a goal to make TRAX a two lane system instead of just one.
Otherwise it will never be able to give a really high level of service,
especially in the tears ahead as the population increases. Before the tracks
were laid would have been a better time to lay the foundation for this but it
still ought to be done.