Monday, October 10, 2005

When Will Changes Come to Bus Lines?

Last year UTA did a study of all the bus routes in Salt Lake County and they where planning to do massive changes in the bus system over this year. However, UTA has put off many of those changes but still plans to do most of the changes in the next year.

However, few people know exactly what these changes will be. UTA has not released the details of the plan or what kind of changes will take place.

The problem with most of these plans is that they are made up by consultants that never rode the bus system and don't have a clue about the who what where and why people ride the bus. Orange County, California reorganized their bus system a few years ago on the advice from a consultant yet after only six months they started returning to the old system because of the negative effects it had on thier system.

I am not putting down all consultants (after all I am breaking into the business myself), but when the consultants only go by the "numbers" and do not find out the information on riding habits, the changes will not help out the UTA's customers: the riders on the buses and TRAX.

I am not saying that there is not the need for changes in the bus system, on the contrary there does need to be changes. Currently the bus system is in the immediate Salt Lake area is largely based on old streetcar lines that buses replaced 70 years ago! The times have changed and its time for the bus system to change. However, the system needs to change in order to make riding the system easier for the customers of the UTA.

UTA needs to work with its customers to make a better transit system that will not only work for existing riders, but also be more attractive to choice riders.

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