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Let’s make a deal: UTA, SLC bargaining over free buses
Transit » Agency wants to scrap no-fee downtown service, but city must get something in return.


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At the top of that list is a direct TRAX route from the heart of downtown to the U., which UTA canceled last year to save money. Presently, to get from, say, the new City Creek Center to the college, riders must transfer at the Courthouse Station.

"That’s been a source of frustration for downtown businesses and residents," Mathis said. "We want greater connectivity."

At a glance

What’s next

A June 12 public hearing will give residents a chance to sound off to the Salt Lake City Council on whether to allow the Utah Transit Authority to eliminate free-fare bus service downtown.

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The success of downtown — and its shopping, cultural and business centers — depends on convenient mass transit, said Councilman Carlton Christensen.

He is willing to give up free-fare buses but would like to see a low-fare circulator bus system downtown.

"Right now, there is nothing to take you around the periphery of downtown," he said. "With a loop, downtown is a livable place. Without a loop, it’s problematic."

The council has scheduled a June 12 public hearing on the issue. If an agreement cannot be reached by UTA’s Aug. 19 target date, free-fare bus service would remain downtown until at least February 2013.

csmart@sltrib.com




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