Thousands of Salt Lake Valley residents will be celebrating Independence Day tomorrow, but they won’t be able to catch a bus or train to get around. The Utah Transit Authority is taking the day off. KUER’s Bob Nelson reports.
Annalisa Holcombe is the chair of the Sugar House Chamber of Commerce. She says the 15th Annual 4th of July Arts Festival and fireworks show draws huge crowds to the heart of the business district. UTA buses and light rail could help cut down on traffic and parking congestion, if they were operating.
“Well we are disappointed that the trolley will not be open that day because we think that the “S” Line being open on the 4th of July would be a really terrific time to feature that great new access into Sugarhouse from the TRAX line,” says Holcombe.
Remi Barron is a spokesman for Utah Transit Authority. He says it’s difficult to compare UTA’s operating schedule with that of other transit systems throughout the country.
“Well our system has been historically different than some of the others in the rest of the country where it’s commuter heavy, student heavy, as far as our ridership goes. And those people just aren’t riding our system on the 4th,” says Barron.
Deb Henry is the Chair of the Transportation Committee of the Sugar House Community Council. She says UTA has responded favorably to their request for at least limited future operations on the holiday.
“I think that they kind of need to dive in and start really trying to expose as many different populations to public transit,” says Henry.
Henry points to special bus or TRAX service for BYU and University of Utah football game as an example of how UTA has modified operating schedules to meet demands.