Saturday, June 30, 2007

Don't Forget....

The new UTA fares go into effect tomorrow. UTA did not post any bullitens about the fare increase until last Monday so some people may be taken by surprise if they don't follow transit politics.

Mountain View Corridor Land Getting Expensive

Corridor land price prohibitive?

Here is one issue that you will rarely here road warriors talking about. It cost a great deal of money to buy enough land to build a freeway. Not only is the freeway expensive to build as it is, but land acquisition can also cost a bundle. Add the rise in land prices here in the Salt Lake area and you have a nightmare in the making.

However, this could turn into trouble for transit plans because the first place the road warrior members of the legislature will do is steal money from the transit fund in order to boost spending on highways.

Watch out for your pockets...

The Lonely Bus Stop Shelter....

Here is the bus stop shelter at the corner of 8680 south and 300 East on the southeast corner. It is currently served by the 24 route however after August 25 will be like the 900 West shelters, unused and forlorn. I used this bus stop for almost a year and a half as I lived in apartment just a block and a half from this bus stop.

Talk about a nice apartment, just three really short blocks to Historic Sandy TRAX and a short walk to a bus. Too bad the apartment went down hill or we may still be there then again the bus will soon be gone and you will have to cross the 700 East Superspeedway to get to the bus stop soon. As I recall this is the only bus stop shelter on the entire line except for the TRAX stations. UTA is one of the worst bus companies I have rode (Spokane Transit Authority may actually be worst) when it comes to have to shelters. Then they turn around cut the service to areas with shelters leaving them unused.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Transit Related Articles

UTA urges visits to shops hurt by work on extension of TRAX

Rider's birth-control 'advice' leads to bus ban

-This story from Logan is very interesting. I wonder if the ACLU will get involved in this one. After all the Logan system is a 'free' system. They can't say that she did not have a fare or anything, and frankly she can say anything she wants to. I did notice in Denver they have signs on their buses that you can be removed for saying offensive things and it could include jail time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Transit Tax Hike??????

Weber OKs vote on a transit tax hike

Voters in December will get the opportunity to vote to increase taxes for roads. However, they are calling it a transit tax which gives no money at all to transit. It is 100% a road tax. ]

Will the voters get confused and think they are actually going to get transit improvements with these dollars? Are they calling a transit tax because it has a better chance of getting approved?

The only REAL transit tax may be in Box Elder county where they are trying to get a ballot initiative passed to extend Frontrunner to Brigham City.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Bus Stop Line Number Signs

Here is a couple of the new signs telling customers what route number service a bus stop:

Pictures are copyrighted protected.

(Sorry the pictures don't show the symbols really well especially on the 207 sign)

It looks like UTA is using green and a little indicator that indicates a route that runs every 15-minutes which is a step in the right direction. However I rather see something like Portland does and put on a special sign below the main sign that boldly announces that the bus stop has frequent service promoting that service much better.

Notice that the sign for the 207, mentions nothing that service is a pathetic every 60-minutes off-peak. Every sign should say the frequency of the line, days of the week it runs, and especially if its peak hours only. Continue to note it runs later in the evening should also be noted.

I also want to point out the two other symbols. One is a no smoking sign and the other is a accessible sign. Now is the no smoking one supposed to tell people not to smoke around the bus stop? That would be nice but how many people do you think will actually pay attention? I hope that UTA is not trying to tell its customers that the bus is no smoking since I've never heard of transit buses that allow smoking but I am sure they existed 50 years ago.

The accessible sign is also funny. While its nice that they are letting customers know that the bus is accessible, the last time I checked since the 1980 era buses where retired a few years ago every bus but one in the entire UTA fleet is accessible, the exception being the historic bus which isn't used in regular route service.

Now, if only UTA would start getting more information out there so people will be better informed when change day comes but that's another story.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Why I Hate Wraps....

As regular readers to this blog know, I am no fan of bus wraps. Wraps are an insult to its customers who have to try to see through them.

Today I had a meeting in Sandy so I rode the 40 to TRAX and finally the 24. The 24 was a 1999 Gillig Low Floor and yes it had a wrap. However I was able to go toward the back of the bus and found that the third set of seats from the back had a window that was only half wrapped. Well low and behold while waiting for the bus to leave I got the bright idea to take a picture so everyone can see the difference between wrapped and non-wrapped.

Picture Copyrighted, All Rights Reserved

Nice 50/50 picture don't you agree? Which part would you rather have the opportunity to look out of? This is why wraps must go.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Transit Trip to Utah County

On Monday, I took a trip down to Utah County to check out the Provo River Trail and to ride the transit system and see how it is doing while BYU is not in main session.

The first bus of the day was a Gillig Low Floor and wouldn't you know it, it was wrapped!&!%!

Next I took the 832 over to the trail. For those of you who have not had a chance to check out the trail, it is a nice trail although it needs to be wider, especially when it goes under roads. Under University Parkway it is too narrow for two humans to pass easily much less if one of them is on a bicycle. However the section of the trail I walked was all covered by mature trees which makes a nice walk in the morning before it gets to hot.

One of the things I noticed is that more than a few stops had the bus stop signs covered by trees or otherwise hard to see. UTA needs to do a better job of making sure their bus stop signs are not covered up and are visible. Also, some shelters would be really nice but no, having shelters along 900 West where they killed service is more important.

Also, half of the bike riders that where riding the bus did not put the bicycle rack back in its home located when they got their bikes back. The best example of customer service I saw was on trip where there was already two backs on the rack, the driver allowed the third person to bring his bike on the bus. I will not say who it was because that driver would probably get in trouble for not following the rules even though he was providing excellent customer service.

Ridership was week except on the 830 which is always a busy route and the 850. In fact the 850 had a pretty full bus, with three loud teenagers, a gang member, and some woman who got on and started talking to someone who wasn't there. Oh well, another day on the bus.

The 811 coming back was also an adventure. It was another Gillig Low Floor and wrapped, however the wrap was torn where I sat so I did not have to deal with the crap. The bus started to overheat and shut off when we got to the American Fork exit. It shut off a few times more as the driver tried to force it to keep going. However, once we left the Lehi area the bus did not give any more problems.

One more note about that bus. Not only was the wrap torn but the my window was also broken. Once again it shows that customers are low on UTA's priorities.

It was another interesting adventure on the UTA, once again showing that UTA has many areas it needs to work on.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hatchet Job in Deseret News

Are rail plans worth it?

Well it looks like the extremist in the Legislature are out rattling their sabers in order to advance their agenda.

Some points I would like to make about the article:

First of all it was poorly researched.

Here is the biggest example:

The author claims that it cost the same for a mile of light rail as it does for a mile of freeway. Not unless where talking about unusually situations like in Seattle where it is more a heavy rail system than light rail. In most cases a light rail cost about the same as a lane mile of freeway but now the entire freeway. One of the problems of dealing with cost is that politicians add cost to light rail such as urban renewal and other pork that does not have anything directly to do with the line itself but often gets included.

There is always the people prefer cars argument. Well cars may still be a majority of trips but when compare corridor to corridor the figures change. What the road warriors do is lump all traffic on a highway and say...see light rail isn't carrying that much. Yet, the highway numbers including trucks plus people just traveling through. What you won't here is a comparison of people traveling within the corridor and if you do they try to spout of some gross generalizations of the market.

What I always love is statements like Dougall makes in the article. "Cars represent freedom" they try to portray cars as apple pie yet if people like Dougall had a choice they would take your freedom away. Your freedom to choose your from of transportation. Right now you have the choice to ride transit but if Dougall wants your that freedom taken away from you.

Then there is the biggest argument for the investment in transit. It is what the taxpayers wanted. Apparently John Dougall is so arrogant, that he believes he knows better than you do on where transportation dollars should be spent. Obviously he doesn't think much of the voters who put him in office.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The 3500 South BRT Plan

One of the many projects the UTA is currently working on is two BRT projects, the Orem/Provo line and the 3500 South. The UTA has a request for proposal out on the 3500 South BRT line so construction is expected to start soon.

So what is BRT? Well that is a very open question. It can either be priority on traffic lights to dedicated right of way. What BRT promoters try to claim is that BRT is light rail at lower cost. However, most BRT projects that are in operation are barely limited service bus routes and only a couple are what many would consider comparable to a light rail line.

So what will the 3500 BRT line be like? Well, it is nothing but a glorified limited stop service. What the system will have is signal prioritization, frequent service, and few bus stops. So the buses will still deal with traffic, and will only be about 10-25% faster than current service. Currently the 37 (soon to be 35) takes 53 minutes to travel from Magna to Salt Lake City. The BRT on the other hand will only take 40 minutes. In other words you will only save about 13 minutes.

Since the BRT line will basically follow the route of the 35 there will be no new markets created by the line. While speed might create a slight ridership increase, there will not be a big increase in market forces because the route doesn't do anything that the current route does. My proposal was to run the route from Magna to the University of Utah which would have created new market forces, a new route matrix and actually brought new riders to the fold. Lets see the difference with that service. Under current conditions the bus takes 1 hour 38 minutes not counting the transfer from the 31 to the 14 (the 37 and 31 are through route so the bus just stops at TRAX, changes route numbers and continues). Now using the same 20% savings you are looking at 1 hour and 10 minutes which is a 28 minutes savings (also assumes a more direct routing). Not a huge change but the route would create a new matrix because it provides service where no existing service travels.

The BRT will most likely do nothing but rob ridership off the local Magna Route along with some ridership of the neighboring bus lines. Despite the fact that Metro Rapid has been praised as a super success story in Los Angeles, ridership numbers shows that the lines have done little but rob the local service in the area of riders. Because all but a couple of the Metro Rapid lines parallel existing service, no new matrix dynamics have been created. In fact even the CEO of the Los Angeles Metro agency has said that Metro Rapid is not creating ridership increases.

UTA could probably do more with precious resources by following the lead of the Portland Tri-Met. Take the high ridership lines line the 37, and redo bus stops so that the curbs conform to Low Floor Buses, make sure there are no bus stops on top of each other, and use exclusively low floor buses on those routes. This will do more to speed up the bus service at a lower cost than the BRT scheme, yet do the same thing as the BRT scheme.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Transit Related Articles

UTA gets $80M for FrontRunner

Rocky urges drivers to hang up cell phones

Allstate study: SLC drivers top national average for auto crashes

Commuter rail gets $80 million in federal funds

The Day Pass

Yesterday I talked about the Call A Ride program that I liked over in Denver that the local transit system the RTD is operating. Today I am going to talk about the day pass that RTD offers like UTA but like UTA makes them difficult to get.

Both RTD and UTA only have day passes available in certain places. The way I have purchased day passes from both companies was on their websites. However at least UTA ships out your purchases when the next business day, however RTD only ships twice a month. I purchased my day pass about a week before there site says they will ship. The ship date was almost a two weeks before I was due to leave. However, my departure date came and went with no day pass showing up (in fact, it has never shown up).

Fortunately RTD has a counter at the Denver Airport (which UTA does not) so I was able to buy a couple of day passes there. However, the bus driver on route AT punched the 6th on my day pass instead of the 7th so I was screwed.

Compare that to the Metro in the Los Angeles area. When I was in Los Angeles in March I rented a car for one day because my uncle lives in an area that would have taken hours to get there by bus. I returned the car the next day and took transit to my meeting. I just board the Metro bus and purchased the day pass and I was on my way.

If RTD drivers where able to sell day passes he could have replaced the one he screwed up on with a new one but because RTD doesn't allow the drivers to sell them, I was screwed. UTA also does not allow drivers to sell day passes which is the opposite what many other transit organizations are doing around the country.

UTA and RTD should be making day passes easy to get. Its a matter of making the transit system easy to use for your customers. In addition making it easy to use also means that people from out of town are more likely to use your system. With car rental prices going through the roof even worse than gas prices, transit systems have a good opportunity to get more people on the system.

So how about it RTD and UTA, lets make day passes easier to get?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Denver's Call A Ride

As I mentioned yesterday, as part of my journey in Denver I had the opportunity to ride Denver's transit system including the Dial A Ride. The picture above is of the Dial A Ride bus at the Dry Creek Station after it had dropped me off. I had already ridden this bus over to the motel about an hour earlier. All the people in the picture are actually attending the dedication ceremony of the new bridge that brings people from the light rail station, across Interstate 25 to the east side of the freeway and past the new park n ride lot.

The only other bus service in this area is the 77 route which I also took, but it only runs primarily during the peak periods.

The concept of the Dial A Ride is that it will be at the light rail station approximately every 30-minutes. Once you board, you just tell the driver where you want to go and you are on your way. Now when you want to be picked up you either tell the driver or you can also make a call up to an hour before you want to be picked up.

This is an excellent alternative to fixed route bus service in areas that are in close proximity to a light rail station (or it could be any transit center but then again we don't have many non-TRAX transit stations). UTA is half a.. doing this with the route along 9400 South after the big changes. However, it will still try to maintain a schedule and a route where a Dial A Ride has a certain coverage area and the only timepoint is to be at the light rail station every 30-minutes. One of the downsides of the RTD system in Denver is that there is no schedule on when it will be at the station but I never had to wait. Apparently it sits at the station until it needs to pick up people.

The only downside of the system for me was the hours. While it was great coming in from the airport and heading to my meeting, because it stopped running at 8:00pm I had to walk back to the motel after dark. However, at least it wasn't UTA who would have probably stopped the operation at 6:00pm like they do with many bus routes.

I think the Dial A Ride would be great for areas like Sandy, the Sandy industrial area, and several others. Daybreak is planning to have shuttles once TRAX heads out there and that would be a terrific place to have this kind of operation.

The Denver operation is run by contractors in the case of the one I road it was operation by Laidlaw Transportation. This type of operation will probably only be economical was a contracted service which means the bus drivers union will scream bloody murder. I have no problem with contracting so long as the transit system properly overseas the operation to insure quality service to its customers. However, most transit systems that contract do not have good oversight and considering how UTA does not take its customers into account in many instances, I would not hold my breath on adequate oversight.

Call A Ride is an innovative system and it is something that needs to be looked at not only at UTA but other transit systems as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Trip to Denver

Well, I know that Google Peak Oil and maybe some other people are ready to hear about my trip over to Denver. I said I was trying to do the trip all transit so how did I do? Well actually pretty good except my wife did give me a ride over to the TRAX station to avoid a 20-minute walk to the bus stop in the rain, and then picked me up at the train station since it gets in at 11:30pm.

Well my wife took me over to the Murray Central TRAX station where I rode TRAX to 3900 South and caught the 56 bus over to the airport. It went well, as I only had a duffel bag, garment bag with my suit, and my back pack with laptop in it.

I am glad I only had a short ride on TRAX since it was full. There was only one sit available and some ugly woman sat on the aisle side of the seat and refused to let anyone sit down. Now if I was traveling farther I might have been tempted to tell her off but who cares.

Next I took a Southwest Cattle Car over to Denver running 40-minutes late due to weather. Would this make you mad, you get a "A" boarding pass, wait three and a half hours for your plane (including delay) then watch as a couple in the "B" line has a friend red cap who goes over to the podium and gets them a pre-boarding pass. Neither of the people needed help plus there was already 5 wheelchairs, a blind person with dog, and several couples with little children boarding. Every time I fly into Denver, I encounter some of the worse turbulance of my life and this trip was no exception. At least this time the girl next to me did not loose her breakfast all over the place.

Originally I had 55-minutes from the time my plane landed to the next RTD Airport Express would leave heading my direction but because I had only 15-minutes it was a mad dash. Add the fact that the day passes I ordered never showed up so I had to get some at the airport plus get my duffel bag from baggage claim. Suprisingly I actually made it to the bus at the nick of time. Good thing I read headsigns since there was two AT route buses leaving at this time. One goes to a wrong area but I watched and caught the right one.

The AT bus took me to the Nine Mile Light Rail Station where I got a G line train to the Dry Creek Station where a bus took me to my motel. This bus is what is called a Dial A Ride which I will talk about in another post either tomorrow or a couple of days. Oh I bought two more Day Passes from the airport RTD counter but the driver on the AT bus punched the wrong day so I was screwed for today!

I then road the E line to the D line out to the end of the line at 30th and Downing. I would not want to be in this section of town after dark as it had lots of boarded up buildings. Then I took the D line back the Convention Center and walked to my meeting. After the meeting I walked by to the Convention Center Station and caught an F line train back to Arapahoe Station where I walked the mile and a half to my motel since bus service ends at 8:00PM in this area and it was now 9. I was actually trying to find a convinience store but did not find one on my walk back.

The next day I took RTD route 77 to the Dry Creek Station and proceed to ride the entire RTD light rail system. The line I was along follows the I-25 freeway and opened back in November while the other line goes along the main line of the BNSF down to the infamous town of Littleton. I also went to Union Station, picked up 3 sets of train tickets, then rode an historical trolley run by an historical society. It turns out this trolley will only be operating its long route for a couple of more weeks because the majority of the route is becoming RTD's new westside Light Rail Line. However the historical trolley will still run along the Platte River and its a nice little ride. I then returned to Arapahoe Station, caught the 77 again and rode it to an area where I saw some restaurants, ate, bought a couple of things for the night and headed back to the motel on the 77.

The Next day I walked about a mile back to the Dry Creek Station and caught an E line train back to Union Station and rode Amtrak's California Zephyr. The scenery along this line is outstanding, however we had a lounge car that was badly in need of refurbishment. In addition the head server in the dining car named Rose was a monster who made children cry and treated adults like they where children. Beyond her the rest of the crew was friendly and after 14 hours of outstanding scenery we arrived back in Salt Lake City 45-minutes early.

OK, except for the rides from my wife, the entire trip was via transit. In September my wife will be going with me as I have another meeting in Denver. This time we have a motel that is right at the light rail station.

Overall, RTD does somethings better than UTA, some things worse, and others just as bad like UTA. Like the Dial Ride, I will discuss these things over the next couple of days depending on what happens news wise.

Transit Related Articles

Davis OKs vote on sales-tax hike

Woman says trees led to train collision

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Trip to Denver using transit

Tomorrow I will be leaving for a meeting that I have in Denver tomorrow night. Friday I plan to spend the day in Denver studying their transit system and return Saturday on Amtrak's California Zephyr.

My plan is to use transit for this entire journey (although if its still raining tomorrow morning I might get a ride to TRAX since there is no bus shelters in my area that I can use). I will take the 40/TRAX/56 to the airport, fly to Denver, take Denver's RTD from the airport to my motel. Transit once again from the motel to the meeting and back (although I have a mile walk hopefully at dusk coming back since bus service stops at 8:00pm), transit on Friday and transit directly to the Union Station on Saturday.

I am not sure if I will have internet access on Friday night, but if I do I will tell you how things are going (won't have time on Thursday).

Be back soon!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I want sound walls!!!!

Resident upset over lack of sound walls in rail project

You know this is one of those things you just have to shake your head and laugh about. Ok, she is worried about her precious little children getting hurt by debris falling off the tracks. I am sure some anti-transit zeolot would love to run with this to claim how bad commuter trains are. However, we are not talking about trains going into an area that has never seemed them before. Last time I checked that little rail line has been there for more than a hundred years and it is a very busy freight line.

Shouldn't she be more worried about all those Union Pacific freight trains that are constantly going back and forth over a passenger train on its own dedicated set of tracks?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Using a Matrix Theory in Transit

In my last post I pointed out that even if there is an increase in ridership when the changes in the bus system takes place, we should question whether UTA is actually gaining any new riders to the system. The new bus system will actually reduce the marketable opportunities to gain new riders.

Basically with a Matrix plan, for each new link you create, the more opportunities you have to create ridership. Yesterday, I used the example of Southwest Airlines to show how a well run transportation outfit operates compared to how transit systems operate. I will once again use Southwest for examples of how you make things work compared to UTA.

Lets start by using one of UTA's changes and the proposal I made a few months ago to create a new UTA system. Since they are routes that I am familiar with, I am going to use the example of routes 8 and 85 which will become routes 220 and 72.

First of all lets look at my proposal. My proposal would have continued to operate both route 8 and route 85 as is. However, route 8 would run every 30 minutes from 9400 South to downtown instead of every 20-minutes. However, I would have created a new line which would essentially be a branch of route 8. This new route will have been the same as route 8 from downtown to Highland/Fort Union Blvd where it would turn and travel to the Midvale/Fort Union TRAX station. Now according to UTA this would be a bad thing because there would be service duplication. That once again is thinking of planners who do not have hard core business experience.

This new branch 8 would also provide every 30-minute service which with coordinated scheduling (another difficult concept for UTA) would provide every 15-minute service on Fort Union Blvd from the TRAX station to Highland then would increase service on Highland/1100 East/U of U/200 South all the way to the Intermodal depot to every 15-minutes so except for the small portion of Highland south of Fort Union Blvd service would have been increased (by the way there would also be increased service on Highland because of a branch of another route but that not the issue right now).

Now according to UTA thinking, all they would see is that this new route would duplicate other services and the cost of operating the bus. Guess what? There is no concept of the marketing possibilities of this type of operation. By UTA thinking this route will only take away ridership from the 85 and the 8 because they cannot see the concept of building a system based on marketing opportunities.

However, you have actually create new markets for bus service and increased your ridership potential greatly. Here are some new opportunities created by this theory:

-Riders that will not ride along Fort Union Blvd because service is not frequent enough
-Riders who will not travel along Fort Union Blvd and Highland because service is too inconvenient with transfers.
-Riders who will now ride because they will only need to transfer twice instead of three times.

In other words you have created a whole new matrix of opportunities for ridership. Now creating branches of multiple lines creates even more marketing based opportunities and expands exponentially.

Now lets take a look at Southwest and compare them.

If Southwest ran there flights the way UTA runs their bus service you would have flights between say Salt Lake City and Denver. Then you would have flights from Salt Lake City to Reno. However there would be no through service and you would not have flights going to different destinations. A recipe for failure that most transit systems, not just UTA are good at.

Instead Southwest has a variety of flights. Lets take a look again at the the Salt Lake to Denver route (since I will be on one of these flights on Thursday). Do you think that the planes just fly from Salt Lake to Denver or from Salt Lake to Denver to one other destination. Of course they don't run their system that way. Instead out of the say 8 flights from Salt Lake to Denver, one may originate in Seattle, one in Spokane, a couple of Oakland, a couple in the Los Angeles area (in other words the "branch"). Then the serve the Salt Lake to Denver route then they head somewhere else.

With each branch that Southwest creates, they create new markets for their service. In other words they do not worry about service "duplication".

It is ironic that anti-transit types try to attack light rail by saying its inflexible compared to buses which are much more flexible. However, today's transit systems are doing everything possible to make the systems less flexible and consequently are loosing marketing opportunities.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Why Ridership Increases with Changed Service is Meaningless

UTA is bragging on how much the changes in the bus service in Utah and Weber Counties have increased ridership, and how they expect a 17% increase in ridership when the changes happen. Actually ridership numbers on the buses should actually increase even more than that and all the over paid planners at UTA and the board will be patting themselves on the back saying what a great job they have done. However, the truth of the matter is, the ridership increase will be meaningless and the planners should be held accountable for different numbers.

Let me show you how ridership increases will be meaningless with this new system and why UTA management should not get away with saying success if ridership goes up.

I will use myself as a perfect example of what will happen with the numbers. Currently I have two ways to get to downtown from my place. I can either walk to Van Winkle/1300 East and catch the 32 bus or I can wall to Spring Lane and 1300 east and catch the 11 which is more convenient since buses that run every hour are useless.

Now if the replacement for the 32 still stops on Van Winkle which we still don't know yet, it will only run during a few trips per day during rush hour so will be useless for anyone that doesn't work in downtown. So say I am traveling to the downtown area mid day which would more fit with my travel patterns. Instead of being able to take one bus directly to downtown I will have to take the new 213 (old 11) to the U. then transfer to either the 220 (old 8) or to TRAX which will be over crowded. Because UTA counts people getting on and off the bus I am counted a second time when I finish my trip to downtown. So in other words even though I am making the same trip I have many times, I am now counted as two riders instead of 1. So there will be a large number of people who will have to ride two buses instead of one. So in other words UTA ridership has gone up using a typical transit system's voodoo accounting. However, has UTA gained any new riders? NO!!

Now lets put things in perspective. UTA like most transit agencies use passenger mile per vehicle mile to tell you how well they are doing. Of course the problem with this number is that it does not tell you is how much they are making per mile. In fact besides transit agencies the only people that use passenger mile per train mile is Amtrak who is the king of bad accounting. For the record I am supporter of train service but feel that Amtrak management has been very poor especially for the 14 years that former transit people have had control. Oh wait, former transit people have been in control of Amtrak until last year and it has gone down the drain in quality, now there isn't any coincidences there right?

Now lets take a look at a successful transportation company and see what they look at. When it comes to transportation companies that are successful you have to look at Southwest Airlines. Does Southwest care about passenger miles? Of course not, they care about revenue per mile. UTA doesn't look at revenue figures. UTA cannot tell you how many people will have to transfer from route 11 to another route when it is cut. But I bet Southwest can tell you how many times a customer has to change planes. I bet you they can break it down if they where to cut a route in half how many people would it affect. They wouldn't be looking strictly at how many people it carries they would be looking at how much revenue the run brings in.

The the first of next year we will have UTA claiming how "successful" the changes in the transit system was. But remember, it is nothing but vodoo numbers, UTA doesn't care about the real numbers.