UTA: Transit success or failure 

Are TRAX, FrontRunner failures? Readers respond

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A letter to the editor raised a perennial complaint that Utah Transit Authority's most high-profile services, light-rail TRAX and commuter rail FrontRunner, are failures (see “The Heavy Cost of Light Rail,” June 15, CityWeekly.net).

Letter writer Drew Chamberlain lists three reason that UTA should be “shut down.” TRAX and FrontRunner, he wrote, are too expensive to maintain and attract too few riders. Thirdly, UTA bosses make too much money. Commenter Douglas Cotant seconded the motion.

“UTA is wasting money on salaries for their exec's and wasting money on FrontRunner, plus charging high prices,” Cotant wrote.

Commenter Joe Traxrider, however, asks whether roads are any cheaper.

“What is the cost per rider of the vehicles we own, asphalt we lay, concrete we pour, and potholes we fill?” Traxrider wrote. “As you might say, 'shut it down.'”

Commenter DS said drivers need to transition away from personal vehicles.

“Once the transit system is complete, we should raise fuel tax to $5 [per gallon],” DS wrote. “This will stop the ridiculous, unnecessary expansion into distant suburbs. It will stop our dependency on oil. It will clear our air which at times is the worst in the nation.”

DS’s tax plan might work—but would motorists elect DS to implement it? Doubtful.

Jesse Fruhwirth:

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