Wednesday, August 10, 2005

UTA's August Changes: The Good, The Bad, and Ugly

Markers for UTA buses in Salt Lake CityImage via WikipediaAugust 21st is change day for the Utah Transit Authority. Three times a year they change schedules and the drivers bid on new schedules and routes. While there has not been major changes for about a year when UTA gutted south Salt Lake Valley Saturday service, there is some major changes in store for the 21st.

Here is a list of changes and comments on them:

Route 1: Route will travel along 200 South instead of 400 South. All I can say about this is that this and other downtown changes are only going to confuse the public. You used to count on most routes going State, 400 South, West Temple and routes traveling down 200 South. Now you have some using 200 south others not and there are more changes. UTA needs to make service easier to understand not harder. Also the route gets the new 30-foot buses which I will talk about in a later edition.

Route 2: This route will use South Temple instead of 400 south and instead of interlining with the 18/19 will interline with the 442. Once again where going to be more confusing and not counting the fact that the 442 only runs hourly while the 2 runs every half hour and does not run on Saturdays. Also will be assigned 30-foot buses.

Route 3: Will service LDS Hospital. How a change I proposed over 6 years ago. Provide better service to a major traffic point. At least UTA is getting some things right.

Route 7: Last trip will go all the way to Brickyard. No big deal here.

Route 14: Will interline with Route 20. So instead of assigning 30-foot buses to this route which should be done we will interline it with a busy route so that 40-foot buses still will be needed. A couple of trips canceled on this route that needs major revisions.

Route 12: Dead, Dead, Dead. So instead of adjusting this route to improve it we just kill it. The only major traffic generator on this route is Southtown which as bad service to start off with. How much better would this route do when the new Hospital Complex opens in two years? Try to fix a route before killing it.

Route 15: 3 trips added and will now interline with route 42 at the Meadowbrook TRAX station. Extra trips on infrequent route good. Route has potential serving SLCC 1700 Campus and now interlined with 42 services 2 SLCC campus (runabout way to get there).

Route 18: West High School Tripper Added.

Route 19: Will use 200 South instead of 400 South (Interlines with route 1-see those comments).

Route 20: Will interline with route 14 (see those comments).

Route 23: Will no longer interline with route 442. Instead of using Main Street both directions will use State Street and Main Street in a loop. Since this route serves the capital it is always assigned the newest buses so it now will get the 30-footers which fits its passenger loads most of the time. The loop thing doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless there is more changes planned in the future.

Route 32: One minor change.

Route 34: Saturday Time Changes

Route 39: Service to UTA headquarters cut, service along 6000 south cut, service rerouted to service SLCC. Is UTA admiting that it made a mistake by reroute 39 away from SLCC when TRAX opened? Good thing they never took the arrow signs that direct the drivers down. Of course they are the old ones.

Route 40: Route will no longer service Olympus Cove. This change smells of NIMBYism. There is a lot of expensive homes in Olympus Cove with people who hate transit. But every time I rode this route older people rode the route.

Route 42: Minor Change in route and six trips added. Changes are needed but what is really need is a reroute to better serve the Jordan Landing complex.

Route 442: Route will be dropped south of 3300 south serving Millcreek TRAX station intead of Meadowbrook. Will interline with route 2. Well most of the time I have ridden the 442 there is several eldery and wheelchairs that board along this short segment. Sure the 22 is one block away but its one of the busiest routes in the county do you really want more wheelchairs and eldery on that route?

Route 51: Minor change in Toole

Route 53: Minor change in Toole. Saturday service canceled. Ok, you want BRT along this route but your going to cancel service?

Route 54: Change in Route Times

Route 66: Minor changes in Times

Route 817: Minor time change on one trip

Nightrides: Several routes change downtown location and they flip times they leave.

Route 803: Route south of Orem replaced by new route 805. More seats available to people boarding route from Orem North.

Route 805: New express route that will service Payson, Spanish Fork and Springville before heading directly for Salt Lake City. Best thing the UTA has done in years. Now people in the southern part of Utah County will not have to travel all the way through Provo and Orem before finally getting on the freeway to head to Salt Lake creating a much faster trip. More service on rapidly increasing ridership routes.

Route 862: The big Orem loop will no longer be the big Orem loop and instead be the big Orem U. Will travel from Utah State to North Orem then down to the University Mall and the transit center. Route does need some help.

Route 820 and 822: One evening trip each disc.

Route 816: Minor Changes in timepoints

Route 833: Minor Route change, just moving the westbound buses one block.

Route 817: More stops added at BYU.

Route 55: Change in name of timepoint

Route 70: One time changed by 5 minutes.

Route 72: Now here is a concept. The bus deadheads all the way from Ogden to Salt Lake so lets actually carry passengers on it! WOW! Additional southbound trips added from Ogden. Latest one is currently in the 2:00PM range, this will add one at 4:00PM. People will have an alternative to the slow 70.

Route 73: Change in name of one timepoint.

Route 77: New trips that use buses that would be deadheading anyway to service Parc School.

Route 610: One trip canned on Saturdays .

Route 612: Earlier trips on Saturdays.

Route 613: Minor Change

Route 626/627: Minor Schedule Changes

Route 640: Changes in times to improve transfers. Wow, this is a change for UTA, which rarely takes transfers into consideration when making schedules. Great change.

Route 645 and 685: One Saturday Trip Cancelled.

Well, those are the changes. There are a couple of good ones (803 and 805), some bad ones (downtown reshuffle) and some ugly ones (12). Now what is needed is better voices in Utah to improve transit service.
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