Thursday, September 5, 2013

NICE TO BE WRONG ONCE IN A WHILE

A while back, around the time the Airport line opened and the 517 got severely shortened, I expressed the opinion (in the comments) that the 517 would probably fade, and go into the west

Go to Comic Con this week.  Take TRAX.
like other routes have done (223, 227, 232, 832, etc.):

"Speaking of canceled, I wouldn't be surprised to see the 517 dwindle quite a bit in the future, especially on weekends. The 517 used to really load up through downtown, but a lot of those people were going to North Temple. Now TRAX is going to do that. It'll be interesting to see. Not that I'm trying to give you ideas, UTA people that read this blog . . ."

We've already seen the scenario around here many times: first a route loses weekend service, then night service, then all-day 30-minute service, and sometimes all existence whatsoever.

So I was interested to hear that UTA had something else in mind for the 517: combine it with a new 217 on Redwood Road and DOUBLE the frequency on Weekdays and Saturdays.  Holy cow.

Apparently this isn't happening as a result of major service cuts elsewhere, either (except the 218 on North Temple, which I can attest is just not what it used to be since the Airport Line opened).  I was worried that the opening of the ESS Line would necessitate a cut on route 21, which has already been cut back quite enough, thank you.  Hopefully this doesn't get sneaked in at the last minute . . .

I remain optimistic that things will start turning around for bus service at UTA as construction wraps up, though progress sometimes feels heartbreakingly slow--I guess it is easy for me, as well as everyone else, to remember that the FrontLines construction is still finishing, and that the construction of five rail lines in five years is no small feat for any transit agency, let alone a mid-sized one like UTA.  I only hope that things can keep improving for a while before UTA has to take another hit on their sales tax revenue or something like that.

In the meantime, it's nice to be wrong once in a while.

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