(Okay, okay, that was a little melodramatic, implying that I would ever "give up" on transit. You should know me better than that by now.)
Early this year a certain locally prominent mormonmommybloggerhusband, having finally heard about the Provo-Orem BRT eight years after the first study recommending it was published, somehow came to the conclusion that public transportation was a gross offense against his neighborhood and, that same morning, dashed off a letter about it to the local papers. There, that fixed it--now everyone knew that buses were going to kill the traditional family.
(Full disclosure: I knew who it was when I wrote the response, but I purposely refrained from bringing it up, because that's not what it was about, to me.)
My response to this op-ed unexpectedly went slightly viral after getting picked up by a couple of online forums, making it, overnight, the most read post in the history of my blog (a distinction it still holds). I've never felt so validated.
Around the same time, a strange announcement came from UTA that they were adding bus service to Hill Air Force Base without cutting from anywhere else. I got excited.
In an even more starting turn of events, the signs on all the Blue Line trains were updated to be (gasp!) blue! I'm glad we could all take that step together.
April change day . . . happened? Did anything happen? Okay, let's talk about August instead. The 9! the 17! the 45! the 47! Especially the 45 got a major boost in frequency and span of service. I used the last 45 of the night (10:15 p.m.) to go shopping once. Then I moved, of course.
Also in August, Distance Based Fare, aka the Hope of the Free World, debuted in the UTA system near BYU campus. Some of us were optimistic, some of us were skeptical--but I don't think any of us could have predicted that BYU would
announce the expansion of its sponsored shuttle service to cover the very same area that the DBF pilot is covering. So much for that. I guess we'll see if the DBF part was successful, anyway.
Also in August a "blistering" legislative audit was published about UTA, the main result of which, as far as I can tell so far, is that those of us who play Lee Davidson bingo got to add a new square to our bingo cards:
I mean, unless I'm very much mistaken, "two-thirds of UTA" didn't get fired . . . ?
A bit later in the year, UTA broke ground on a new Transit-Oriented Development in Sandy, an occurrence praised by everyone except those who stand to directly benefit from it. Good luck, Sandy, in your quest to become transit friendly. I remain the eternal transit optimist.
The 2015 budget threw us a couple of bones, including holiday service on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day; no fare increases; and the redirection of funds used on capital projects back toward operations. Sounds fun to me. I'm ready to be dazzled. Honestly, just "no service cuts" was quite a relief.
Finally, this year ended with the 15th Anniversary of the opening of TRAX. Funny, how the world didn't end when TRAX opened in 1999. Who knew that, far from crashing and burning in its first month of existence, TRAX would grow to carry tens of thousands of people around the city every day?
Good night, and happy 2015!