For anyone that has been to Downtown Denver and rode transit, there is two things you see different from Salt Lake City. First you do not have a fare free zone like Salt Lake however, they have the 16th Street Shuttle that serves a good portion of the downtown area. While Salt Lake's downtown area is more spread out than Denver's, the system can work here.
First we eliminate the Fare Free Zone entirely and I will get into the benefits of that later. Second we turn the Capital Shuttle into a operation like the 16th Street Mall. The only difference would be is that the 16th street mall is a dedicated transit mall while this proposal would use mixed use streets.
Here is the proposed route and the benefits of the route:
From the Intermodal terminal via
-serves the southern part of the Gateway
-serves the motels/hotels near 300 west
500 South/600 South,
-serves hotel row along these streets
-serves the Downtown Library and the new Metro Residential Complex
-serves all the retail along main plus the new City Creek complex and all the office buildings.
-Brigham City Apartments and the other apartments along State Street
300 North (counter-clockwise) 500 North, E Capital Blvd, 300 North (clockwise)
-Serves the Capital
-serves residences along Main
-serves Temple Square, Conference Center, a couple of smaller motels
-Serves the Arena, Radisson Hotel
-Serves the Gateway
-Back to the Intermodal Depot.
What has been created is a shuttle that serves all the vital areas of the Downtown Core. Once the Harmon's opens at 100 S/100 E, the shuttle could be rerouted from Main via 100 South, 100 East, North Temple, and State Street to service that vital spot also.
So whats the benefits to the regular bus system?
1. By eliminating the buses stoping at every bus stop they would only need to stop if there is passengers boarding speeding up service.
2. Outbound buses would be wouldn't be slowed down by having to have everyone exiting the bus to pay their fare in the front then load new passengers which really slows down the process.
3. Faster times through downtown because people will not be jumping on the main routes to go two blocks.
In other this will truly speed up bus service and improve bus circulation through downtown.