Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rail to Jeremy's Ranch?

The editorial board of The Salt Lake Tribune takes a wise position: Instead of adding a freeway lane up Parley's Canyon, why not work with UTA to create an express bus route or -- even better -- a rail line to Jeremy's Ranch?

"Summit County officials have said they would be open to putting a sales-tax measure on the ballot to fund UTA service. But nobody seems to be seriously considering that sensible approach to dealing with growth."

Test runs on the Mid-Jordan TRAX lines have been delayed

The Utah Transit Authority is again delaying resumption of test runs on its new Mid-Jordan TRAX line as it considers how to avoid accidents like the one that killed a 15-year-old in West Jordan on June 8.

Let's try this again

OK, I got sidetracked (pun!) a while back, but maybe this time I'll stick to it. Like I said: not so much to complain as to offer news and maybe a viewpoint now and then.

So, what got me blogging again? Two passenger cars on this morning's FR train to SLC. Most mornings, I take the 6:31 from Clearfield to Salt Lake Central. There are typically three Bombardier (the double-decker) cars in the morning. Today, only two. And one of the cars was a bicycle car, meaning one whole side of the downstairs compartment on my car was devoid of seats.

I stood to allow a couple of women to sit (I'm always surprised more men don't offer their seats). No big deal, but as I wrote in an email to UTA later in the day, it would have been nice to hear why we had only two cars. There was a train host aboard, but he made himself scarce. And the driver offered only that there had been a "malfunction" that left our train with only two cars.

I believe UTA could reduce most of the passenger frustration simply by offering as much information as possible. The host should have been telling everyone aboard exactly what went wrong. Lots of people around me were complaining; information would have silenced them and let us know what had happened.

This is quite common. When the trains sometimes start out of a station, then stop-start-stop-start even when no other train is approaching, we should know why. Most of us have schedules to keep, and it's a courtesy that's not too much to ask to be informed what's going on.