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Thursday, June 22, 2017

SLC Transit Master Plan: More Executive Summary Commentary

See here

Page 17 says:
"Employer-oriented shuttle services in West Salt Lake City and on-demand ride services in low density residential areas connect to the FTN".
First, the idea of 'employer oriented shuttle services' doesn't pass the smell test for me--no example is presented. Which employers? Are they going to pay for the service? If not, why do they get special transit service? Who is going to provide the service, UTA, or is SLC going to start buying buses?

Second, using Uber/Lyft to patch transit doesn't work very well. I understand the desire--use transit for the line-haul portion of the trip, and then Lyft/Uber for the last mile. It can be done, but it's not great. Getting a Lyft/Uber outside of the central city means a long wait, and the drivers aren't as good. For some areas, you can forget ever getting one. It's also expensive. The 'flag-drop' to start a ride on either is about two bucks ($2) and higher in peak times; it runs about $6 to travel a mile, or $12-15 to travel 3 miles.

"Let's hire a taxi for everyone too far from the bus!" is not a solution.

There is also an equity concern: Transit dependent riders may not have smart phones or credit cards. While you can hail a taxi (contrary to widespread public belief), being able to do so is no guarantee of there being a taxi to hail, especially at peak times.

Low density residential areas probably should not have transit. Some low density residential areas have great transit, because they are on the way. That same degree of service can't be extended to everywhere.