The geodatabases used for the software are typically derived from U.S. postal files--great for keeping track of where to send mail, less useful for finding a physical address. Further, differences in notation may confuse the software. "150 S State Street" may be parsed as:
- 15000 South, State Street
- 150 South, State Street
- 150 South State Street
But UTA is hardly alone--this is characteristic of most transit planning tools.
I recall Portland's as being remarkably different, with one reason: It did not rely on addresses, but on intersections. I recall it as being something like this:
START: "23rd @ Burnside"
END: " Burnside @ NE 6th AVE"
Needless to say, there are vastly fewer intersections than addresses, making it much easier to for the software to find a match, making finding a start and end location much faster.
*The trip planner also recognizes some landmarks. Finding out which ones are acceptable is a matter of trial and error. "U of U" is not, while "University of Utah Bookstore" is.