Short takes on the news
Load 'em up • The Utah Transit Authority plan to offer reloadable electronic fare cards is good news for transit riders and for the future of the system itself. The cashless cards will open up possibilities for fairness and efficient, convenient fare collection. For a one-time fee of $3, riders get a card that can be loaded online or at stores with amounts between $5 and $500. They can then use the card to "tap on" and "tap off" electronic readers already familiar to UTA pass holders to have the fare deducted. The system will also facilitate a distance-based fare system in which fares would be based on length of trips, an innovation that can save some riders money.
Tone it down • Civil rights groups are calling on Utah legislators to pass a bill to limit how police conduct searches. In light of the increasing violence associated with searches, a change in the law is appropriate. Local police breaking down doors with guns drawn is becoming all too common. Such a violent response recently resulted in the death of an officer in Ogden and the suicide of the suspected drug user. There is no excuse for putting lives in danger unless there is no alternative.