Thursday, June 22, 2017

SLC Transit Master Plan: Executive Summary Comments

Good day to you.

Just a few comments on the executive summary:

  1. Competing with the automobile for travel times requires rapid transit (BRT or LRT). Any transit vehicle has 'terminal time' associated with stopping to pick up/drop off passengers. Hence, a bus will always be slower than a car. The only way a transit vehicle can make up the difference is if it can avoid automobile congestion with dedicated right of way. UTA requires 26' of ROW for a light rail, and something like 20' for a BRT.  The only road on the east bench that can support that is Foothill Drive. 
  2. By your own analysis, most of your riders are Millennials. They walk a lot, and don't mind doing it. Suit stop spacing to them. 
  3. Everyone walks to transit. You can increase walking distances to stops if you make the walk to transit easier (sidewalks in good repair, crosswalks striped) and have someplace to sit down while waiting. This is especially critical for the elderly.
  4. Speaking of waiting at stops, the part of the transit trip riders hate the most is waiting for the bus. The literature suggests that transit equate 1 minute of wait to four minutes in in-vehicle time. Please prioritize reductions in wait times through increased frequency.
  5. The main trouble with current east-west connections is that passing through downtown stinks. There is no good way to get from University to Gateway/Farmers Market area by transit. (And believe me, I have tried). The 400 South TRAX is never going to happen, so please prioritize investments on 200 South. Greater frequency on Saturday would be very welcome. 
  6. Please stop using 'Journey to Work' data aggregated to the city level. It's a very serious methodological error: First, there is Modifiable Areal Unit Problem: The average of all the census tracts is very very different from the average of census tracts. Secondly, it's geography of aggregation is the place of residence, not the place of work. So it only refers to workers who live in SLC, not those who commute TO SLC.
  7. The talk of shuttles on page 17 really concerns me. Shuttles are really expensive to run, and there are only three cases where there implementation is successful: Connecting peripheral surface parking lots to high density activity centers, hospital/university campuses, and 'Google Buses'. Uses them as 'transit extenders' is nonsense.
  8. Last I heard, UTA had bought the spur-line on 400 West, to deal with the capacity issue. This is not discussed, and is a glaring omission.
  9. The lack of discussion on UTA's proposed 'Central Bus Hub' at 200 South and State is another glaring omission.  

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