Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Suprise, Suprise: More UTA Bus Service Cuts

Press Releases

As expected UTA has released their proposed bus service cuts for April.

First of all I would actually like to commend the UTA. This time you can go to their website and not only see the press release about the proposed service cuts but you can also see the changes that they are proposing in other routes. UTA got it right this time.

Some of the propose changes make since. The west valley are bus service has not made since and some of the proposed changes will make service better for the area. However, whenever you see the goal is reducing duplication of service, that usually means that bus service will be reduced.

Duplication of service has become a bad word in the transit world and it has become bad to have more than one route service a street. However, it does not take into account customer travel patterns.

A perfect example of decreasing service while "eliminating" duplication of service is the proposal to cut the 31 route. Instead of making travel easier it will actually make travel along 3500/3300 south more complicated. If they wanted to eliminate duplicate service they should have extended the 37 all the way to Parley/Foothill, although that would have created a long line with on time issues. Instead of a one seat ride from say the Valley Fair Mall to the Brickyard Plaza it will be a two seat ride, or if your traveling to 2100 south it will be a 2 or 3 seat ride.

Also it was only a couple of years ago that they revised the 16/17 routes and now they are basically returning service to the way it was. So why doesn't UTA admit its planners where wrong and they should never have changed the routes in the first place?

Also the proposed Sandy and Draper "Fast Buses" clearly signal the pending end of the route 33 which travels along 1300 East. This was another dumb move by UTA planners when TRAX first started. Rerouting the bus to the Fashion Place West TRAX station made trip times way to long and poor coordination with other bus services doesn't help. The 33 should once again continue toward downtown or combined with the 11 with every other 11 continuing to Sandy.

Also UTA doesn't mention hours of operation on these new "fast buses" but you most likely will only have buses during rush hour which means they will be of little use for many of UTA's customers.

Once again many of the proposed changes show that UTA is too disconnected from its customers to truly see what kind of transit system is needed. Once again the western and southern Salt Lake Valley will have bus service gutted. Maybe its time for a redesign of UTA management.