LAYTON, Utah— The Utah Transit Authority says it probably can't afford to offer a discount on its FrontRunner commuter train during red alert air quality days.This is simple enraging.
It is the bureaucrats answers: "It can't be done because it will require additional resources", rather than the engineers answer: "It can be done, but it will cost..." It would cost. No questions asked. And if the costs can't be paid by the users (through fares) they would have to be paid through other means. For UTA, that means taxes.
"How can we get more money?" is not a bad question. It is a critical question. Because money is the critical input for services. If you want to provide more services, you need to get more money.
Efficiency is a certainly a laudable goal. Asking "How can we provide the most service, the best service, for a given amount of money?" is important for any organization. But it is not necessarily the primary question that a transportation agency should be asking. It is not the question UDOT asks. UDOT asks "What are our needs?" and then goes looking of ways to fund them. It is a growth mentality, a mentality responsive not only to current conditions, but to future conditions.
Saying 'Can't be done' implies that it can never be done. The long range plan is full of projects that are impossible, today. But they are projects that are possible, over time. That's why its a plan--a list of future actions to meet a future objective. Achieving things, over time, that cannot be achieved immediately.