Thursday, September 04, 2014

Standard-Examiner: UTA Says Weber Transit Service Would Have Many Riders

We'll be keeping our eyes peeled, and fingers crossed, of course, as the UTA plods forward within the bureaucratic constraints of  this this ridiculously tedious Ogden Transit Study process

There's encouraging news for Ogden City streetcar fanciers this morning, as the Standard-Examiner's Mitch Shaw reports on the results of Tuesday's Ogden City Council Joint Work Session, wherein the Council received a a Transit Study update from Utah Transit Authority officials. Here's Mr. Shaw's lede:
OGDEN — If a public transit service between downtown Ogden, Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital ever becomes a reality, the Utah Transit Authority says it won’t be hurting for riders.
UTA officials met with the Ogden City Council Tuesday night to discuss progress on a nearly $900,000 transit study that is measuring the merits of a new transit system that would connect downtown Ogden to the campuses of WSU and McKay-Dee.
Here's the full story, folks:
And here's the "kicker":
Jim McNulty, a strategic planner with UTA, told council members that by the year 2040, ridership numbers on the system could ultimately reach 8,000 per day. Ridership estimates for when the service initially begins aren’t available yet.
“We’re finding that we would have the ridership there when we open it up,” McNulty said. “We’ll have more precise information (on early ridership numbers) in about a month, but it’s looking good so far.”
McNulty said UTA’s new Sugar House streetcar system, which opened in December, is seeing about 1,000 riders each day.
“So obviously, seven to eight thousand (daily riders on the Ogden line) is a great number,” he said.
“We keep hearing streetcar, streetcar, streetcar.” “Weber State has indicated that that’s what they want, and we’ve heard that from (the public) as well,” Mr. McNulty adds.

We'll therefore be keeping our eyes peeled, and fingers crossed, of course, as the UTA plods forward within the bureaucratic constraints of  this ridiculously tedious Ogden Transit Study process.


blackrulon said...

The recently opened transit line in Sugarhouse was projected to carry 3000 riders a day. UTA figures show 938 daily riders. But as UTA often does they changed the discussion to supposed economic development along the the future.Which brings to miond the question. Is UTA a program to promote mass transit or a government program to promote economic development

rudizink said...

Streetcars are all about economic development, BR, something methinksyou already know.

blackrulon said...

It seems that everytine Ogden government officials get involved in a phase of increased economic development a established ogden business loses. Ogden heavily supported the Winco project and soon thereafter Stop and Shop closed. Ogden gave lots of support to the downtown Garden Hilton and the local Marriott hotel(now Summitt hotel) gave up its addiliatio9n and let employees go.

Bob Becker said...

Your point about UTA's projected ridership on the SH trolley line is a good onne. Certainly appropriate to ask whether the 8k estimate for an Ogden rapid transit route is as inflated as the 3k projection for the SH line apparently was. Are the people who did the SH estimate doing the Ogden one?

But it's also appropriate to consider seriously UTA's long-view approach to rapid transit development. If significant TOD happens along the route, and, over time business in the area grows significantly and ridership expands it may prove in the end to have been a very good investment for SLC. As is so often the case, we're going to have to wait to know.

blackrulon said...

Relying on wishful unicorn hopes far in the future of projections of riders or possible development is a dangerous and expensive to the taxpayer . I, and many others, are still waiting for all of the projected businesses to remodel, expand or move to Ogden from previous Government officials promised by RDA grants or giving city property to developers and speculators. The only people hurt by the many failures of UTA dreaming are the people who pay the bills. I'll seriously believe in their speculation when the people who make the claims are held accountable for their errors.To refresh your memory i am still waiting for the downtown Junction to be profitable and free from city taxpayers making up the shorfall in promised revenue and actual revenue.The only people currently being overworked in Ogden arre the people who print and post the "For Lease" or "For Sale " signs. And the company that rents out the orange construction barrells.

Bob Becker said...

Apples and oranges again. The Junction was not a UTA project. It was, as you know, a Matt Godfry money pit special. Nor were the other Matt Godfpey RDA Of The Month Specials UTA transit projects. Because Ogden's Junior G-man Mayor squandered public funds on badly researched and executed RDAs does not mean all public fund expenditures are ill-advised. TOD is not a wl-o-the-wisp fantasy whipped up out of whole cloth to justify spending. Other cities have seen substantial TOD following investment in public transit, Portland being tge mist prominent, but not only, example. There is evidence that it can work. You seem to be assuming that because RDAs have been abused... and they public investment can possibly be well-advised. That is demonstrably wrong.

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