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Monday, May 16, 2011

Old Greek Town Station needs to go

Currently, SLC has a problem: It's kind of an open secret that the TRAX ridership between the Arena Station and the Salt Lake Central Station kind of sucks. And I think I know why: Old Greek Town station is FAR too close to both Salt Lake Central Station and Planetarium Station. Salt Lake's blocks may be 660' long, but stop spacing for transit should be about 1200', and the station is within 1000' of both. I know WHY it's there--SLC's former Mayor, Rocky Anderson, demanded it as a nexus for additional 'Transit Oriented Development' in downtown. It was a bad idea at the time, but UTA permitted it because Salt Lake City was paying for the line. 

Along the Sandy line, each additional TRAX stop adds about 3 minutes to the journey. Downtown, I'd estimate it's greater. The Sandy line has dedicated Right of Way, and so never needs to deal with traffic lights. Downtown, making the stop at Greek town means the train has to match up with the traffic light. When it fails to do so, that requires waiting for the light to cycle, adding another minutes worth of wait time. 

Adding the 9400 South TRAX station cost about $2.1, so closing a station represents a pretty blatant waste of funds, plus the additional political cost of confusion by riders attempting to board or disembark at a non-functional station.