Happy Valley math

Re “Provo OK’s controversial bus rapid-transit route” (Tribune, May 7). My head is just spinning over these story problems.

1. We have 32,000 students and 16,000 employees as possible bus rapid transit ridership, 32,000 plus 16,000 equals 48,000 potential riders.

But most of those employees are also students and were double counted. To what number does one equate “most of” in order to determine how many students were double-counted?

2. Although “most of” would seem to indicate a number greater than 50 percent such as 32,000 students plus, say, 7,800 employees equals 39,800 potential riders. Of course if the “most of” number is higher, say, 70 percent, then the number of potential riders would be 36,800. The revised study, however, chose to reduce the employee number by only 35 percent, which would come to 42,400 potential riders. Which “most of” total is correct ?

3. Construct the equation for the minimum percentage of the above numbers needed for BRT to achieve the projected 12,900 riders per day, courtesy www.provoorembrt.com.

If you said the “most of” is an unknown number, so that a true total cannot be found, making the above numbers arbitrary at best and the data apparently flawed yet again, you might just be correct.

Ross McCollin

South Salt Lake