New petition calls for expanded UTA service

Brigham Young University student, Alexis Jenen, wants the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to offer the full weekday schedule on the weekends, Sunday Frontrunner service and provide more late night buses and trains.  Jenen has launched an online petition at change.org that she will deliver to the UTA Board of Trustees asking for expanded services.

“They are limiting their customer’s and the public’s use of their services by not offering a full weekend and later evening service,” wrote Jenen at change.org.

Currently the last weekday north and south Frontrunner trains depart from Salt Lake Central station at 11:25 p.m. and 11:50 p.m. respectively.  On the Saturdays the final train northbound train departs Salt Lake Central at 11:58 p.m. while the final southbound train departs a bit later at 12:06 a.m.  Frontrunner trains do not operate on Sundays.

The last TRAX trains leave downtown Salt Lake City around 11:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday.  While most weekday bus routes stop running after 7 p.m. those that do run later run hourly until 10 or 11 p.m.  Most major bus routes run reduced weekend schedules, with many not running on Sundays.

“I believe that UTA is truly limiting mine and other’s ability to travel at a cost effective and environmentally friendly way,” wrote Jenen. “By not offering the full weekend and later evening service schedule they are making it harder for people to connect and all but forcing them to drive their commute instead of riding public transit. All of that driving leads to a more polluted air supply.”

Earlier this year UTA partnered Zion’s Bank, The Utah Realtors Association and Utah Clean Air Partnership to launch the RideClear program.  The group distributed 7,000 free weekly passes which resulted in over 28,000 trips between the months of February and April.

While free passes have been shown to increase ridership, UTA and several municipalities want the ability to hold local elections on raising the sales tax for transit.  A bill that would have made such elections possible failed last legislative session.

Jenen’s petition is the second online petition this year requested for expanded bus service.  In August, Alex Cragun of Taylorsville petitioned UTA to provide more late-night bus service.

As of 4 p.m. today over 3,600 people have signed the petition. You can access the petition here.

 

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.