UTA to reduce service effective April 5

TRAX. File photo: Utah Transit Authority

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 27, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Transit Authority announced Friday that with ridership significantly down in reaction to COVID-19, it will reduce service effective April 5.

“Similar to other transit agencies across the country, UTA has seen a significant decrease in ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the UTA statement says.

“Preliminary numbers show that bus ridership is down 56%, FrontRunner ridership is down approximately 75%, TRAX ridership is down about 60% and paratransit ridership is down about 75%. With the lower than normal ridership, we are seeing a decrease in fares and expect a decrease in our sales tax revenue.

“As part of the ongoing effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, keep everyone safe and ensure fiscal responsibility, Utah Transit Authority will reduce service temporarily beginning April 5, 2020.

“Our decision to temporarily reduce service did not come easy. However, after evaluating the situation and closely monitoring our ridership we have decided to focus our resources on providing critical service for those who depend on UTA for their essential travel needs at this time.”

The temporary reduced service schedule replaces UTA’s previously planned April Change Day schedule, the statement says, adding that and information about the new schedules will be provided to riders as soon as possible.

“Beginning March 31, riders will be able to plan trips that take place after April 5.”

Specific schedules are not yet available, the UTA statement says, but “the following overall changes are being implemented”:

Weekday Service:

  • Fixed Route Bus:
    • Maintaining hours of service on most routes
    • Adjusting frequency on most 15 and 30 minute bus routes
    • UVX frequency adjusting from 6 minutes to 15 minutes
    • Suspending some commuter bus routes
  • TRAX: Adjusting frequency from 15 minutes to 30 minutes
  • FrontRunner: Adjusting frequency from 30 minutes to 60 minutes

Saturday Service:

  • Fixed Route Bus:
    • Adjusting frequency of service on 15 minute bus routes to 30 minutes
    • UVX maintaining 15 minute frequency
    • All other bus routes retaining Saturday schedule
  • TRAX: Adjusting frequency from 20 minutes to 30 minutes
  • FrontRunner: Maintaining current Saturday schedule

Sunday Service:

  • Fixed Route Bus: All routes retaining Sunday schedule
  • TRAX: Adjusting frequency from 20 minutes to 30 minutes
  • FrontRunner: No service on Sunday currently

The safety of our riders, employees and community remains our top priority throughout this pandemic and we continue to follow the recommendations of health and safety experts. In addition to our regular daily vehicle and station cleaning, we have implemented additional disinfecting and social distancing measures to keep everyone safe, including:

  • Daily disinfecting of vehicles, stations and facilities.
  • UTA is providing hand sanitizer to our Bus Operators.
  • Bus Operators and Transit Police Officers are not handling passes and will be conducting visual fare inspections only.
  • To support social distancing guidelines, we have moved the yellow passenger line back on our buses so that there is 6 feet between our operators and riders.
  • Signs have been posted on buses advising riders to board through the rear doors. Passengers who need the ramp or require ADA assistance may still board through the front door.
  • With more people staying home, there is more space on buses and trains for riders to socially distance while riding. We advise riders to be mindful of others and practicing social distancing on vehicles and at bus stops and rail platforms.
  • We continue to encourage anyone who is sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing. Please continue to check rideuta.com/health for the latest information from UTA.


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