Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Articulated Buses

Saw an interesting sight yesterday on 3300 South, as an articulated bus was being used on route 30 despite it being a Federal holiday. For those of you who do not know what an articulated bus is, its one of those buses that bend in the middle and are 20ft longer than a standard sized bus which is 40ft. I don't know why they decided to put one of these on the route but it was probably just a bus reassignment due to a break down or something like that.

UTA has 13 articulated buses that they first acquired in 1998. The thought then was to assign them to the busy commuter routes but over the last few years they have been replaced by the new the new MCI Commuter Cruisers.

Now they are assigned such routes as the 48 (soon to be 327) which are in desperate need of the bigger buses.

UTA needs to take another look at artics and use them on their busiest routes. Some agencies do not like them because they are somewhat slower than other buses but their capacity makes up for most of their shortcomings.

Among the routes that should be using the artics are: 30, 31, 48, 811 and 830. The 30 would not need them full time but it makes equipment utilization easier than changing buses.

If UTA's near sighted cuts do take place on the 31 and the 37 is the only route from West Valley to the TRAX station then it should also be assigned artics to help with overcrowding.

Also the 830 may have a couple of places where artics wouldn't work so that will have to be taken a look at.

There are other routes that once a rationalization of the route network take place would be ideal lines for artics including the 8, 9, 22, and 43.

This all goes toward building a better transit network along the Wasatch Front.

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