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UTA underserves Davis, so conducts study
Jul 05, 2013 | 2063 views | 2 2 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ACCORDING TO A RECENT STUDY, South Davis residents hardly use FrontRunner.
Photo by Louise R. Shaw | Davis Clipper
ACCORDING TO A RECENT STUDY, South Davis residents hardly use FrontRunner. Photo by Louise R. Shaw | Davis Clipper
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BY REBECCA PALMER

Clipper Editor

 

BOUNTIFUL – The Utah Transit Authority takes more money from Davis County residents than it uses to serve them, and the semi-public organization is taking steps to right the imbalance.

The transit company is working with several south Davis cities and with the county government to study transit alternatives. The effort began this year.

“It stands right now that Davis County is underserved in terms of taxes paid,” said Bill Knowles, project integration manager with UTA. “They’re not in a situation right now where they’re getting their “bang for the buck.”

The latest study follows the South Davis Transit Study Alternatives Analysis, which took place in 2008. It recommended a rail line through Bountiful’s Main Street, and was heavily criticized by local leaders.

Partly because of that, Bountiful City did not contribute funds to the current study. To make up the 50 percent in matching funds to qualify for federal help, Davis County kicked in Bountiful’s portion.

South Davis residents hardly use the Frontrunner rail system at all, but about 6,000 Davis County residents use the bus system provided by UTA daily, Knowles said.

Davis County shoppers pay one quarter of one percent of sales tax to UTA in a transit tax, or about 25 cents on every $100 spent.

The transit authority recently met with Jim Smith, president of the Davis County Chamber of Commerce.

UTA needs to build on the trunk line it has already established with its rail system, Smith said.

“The goal needs to be to shoot some east-west feeders off of that,” he said. “Take that into the industrial parks, things like that, so people an get to and from work without driving cars.”

On behalf of county businesses, Smith encouraged the agency to focus on getting people from where they live to where they work, and said that asking them to walk more than half a mile wasn’t feasible.

The transit study is expected to take about one year, but no changes are likely within about five years because after the study comes a review from the Federal Transportation Administration and then, at least a year of preliminary design work.

However, this is the time to start the process, Knowles said.

“The priorities are such that everything needs to start into the queue,” he said.

In addition to meeting with local governments, UTA is meeting with local businesses, Knowles said. UTA is also working “hand in hand” with long-range planning groups Envision Utah and the Wasatch Front Regional Council.

“How do we make it better?” Knowles asked. “We don’t have any idea what that is yet.”

rpalmer@davisclipper.com

Comments
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loveutahlife
|
July 13, 2013
How nice it would be if UTA would work together with UDOT. Using mass transit is the answer to our congestion problems. Now we just need to make it more affordable and accessible so more people would be willing to use it. Therefore, the west Davis corridor is unnecessary. We are smarter than this, are we not?
clipperfan
|
July 08, 2013
This is the direction that many people in Davis County would like to be served by our transportation committees. We are underserved by UTA and so UDOT wants to inflict an unneeded and very much unwanted freeway on Farmington City. With the $20 million that UDOT is spending on studying WHERE the freeway should go, perhaps they should stick with the data when it says that it is unneeded in Farmington, and will always be unneeded. (Thus the reason for their decision to have it go through Farmington, but not serve the city). UTA should be working in tandem with UDOT in providing a beefed up transportation model that serves the entire community instead of those who would profit economically. We have been asking for more UTA service in Farmington and other parts of Davis County for some time along with reduced fares. It costs more to take Frontrunner than to take our vehicles. And it doesn't make sense to walk a mile to take the train into work. Make UTA work for us, and we can leave the freeway uncongested for many other commuters who can't use mass transit. I am sure this will cost much less than $600-$700 million for the BASIC West Davis Corridor not even counting the upkeep and maintenance costs. Many of us are waiting for our representatives to TRULY represent our needs, not the wishes of lobbying groups.
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