I have posted on this blog about UTA’s revision to its system and how it will adversely affect riders in Salt Lake Valley. It plans to not only decrease the number of routes (from 98 to 80) but also increase the fares.
At a forum yesterday organized by Crossroads Urban Center, several Salt Lake City Mayoral Candidates raised concerns about this plan. Here are some comments:
House Minority Leader Ralph Becker, D-Salt Lake City, wants the agency to go back and talk to riders, hold public hearings, and then come out with a proposal. He said UTA did not include input from riders when drafting the plan.
“UTA needs to understand that when it starts a process like this, it should not start with a proposal,” Becker said.
Former Salt Lake City Councilman Keith Christensen and Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson said the agency should look at using smaller buses or vans in areas where the number of riders is low. City Councilwoman Nancy Saxton said that UTA has designed its system to focus on commuters and that the city should eliminate free parking during Christmas to subsidize buses.
Surgeon J.P. Hughes said he would like to see buses operate for longer hours.
But UTA says that the new plan will be more reliable and efficient, even though The agency has received just over 2,000 comments about the plan. About 65 percent of the comments criticized the redesign, while 35 percent praised it, according to UTA.
It is clear that UTA is going to go ahead with its plan, even though it is also clear that most people are critical of it. What’s the point of public comment if they aren’t going to listen?