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What's next at UTA? More frequent service, and yet more building

Published February 11, 2013 9:47 am

Transit • The building blitz will slow for foreseeable future, with focus on gradually increasing service.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Transit Authority just finished, or will complete in coming months, $2.4 billion worth of new projects: TRAX lines to South Jordan, West Valley City, Salt Lake City International Airport and Draper, a FrontRunner line to Provo and the Sugar House streetcar.

What's next after the build-out blitz?

UTA wants to "restore some of the service that has been cut," says spokesman Gerry Carpenter.

Sales taxes — which provide 71 percent of UTA's revenue — took a dive when the recession hit, just as the big projects began. The UTA now receives about $80 million less in sales tax than it had projected for 2013 when the projects were planned. To make ends meet, UTA made cuts in night and weekend service, plus reducing or reworking bus routes.

As a consequence, for example, when the airport TRAX line opens in April, tight budgets will not allow UTA to run it early enough to service some morning flights, or late enough for the last several arriving night flights — and the transit gap will be worse on weekends.