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City Council Announcements
September 21, 2004
A. For Your Information
1. In a meeting Thursday morning Utah Transit Authority General Director John Inglish made clear to downtown business representatives that UTA had no plans for a transit mall on 100 South between Main and West Temple streets.
Mr. Inglish and UTA Operations Director David Huber said that except for one minor change in downtown Route 23 the current bus route configuration would remain the same when UTA implements its planned valley-wide bus route reconfiguration in August 2005. The one change in downtown bus routes would be to make Route 23 a circulator from downtown to the Capitol and back again. Mr. Huber said buses on the route would be about 30-feet long, operate on 15-minute intervals, and go up State Street to the Capitol and return on West Temple Street.
Mr. Inglish said reasons for UTA' s decision not to implement more changes downtown along with the other route changes were: 1.) Until recently downtown's short-term future was uncertain. 2.) UTA's budget dropped along with the state economy. 3.) Light-rail and intercity buses have cut into the ridership of the remainder of the bus system.
He said that now that downtown's future configuration was clearer UTA would like to participate in a study of transportation for downtown that would integrate at least all of UTA's components into a single system. Mr. Inglish noted that 33 percent of UTA's riders now transfer at least once and said that meant UTA's components were evolving into a true system.
Mr. Inglish said that current UTA employee and former RDA Director Alice Steiner had been assigned to lead a process for a downtown transportation master plan. He said the study's aim would be to "bring all the entities" together downtown to arrive at a common plan. He said the study would be targeted to finish in 2006. The process would involve developing a steering committee made up of UTA, Utah Department of Transportation, and City officials plus representatives of downtown business interests. The steering committee then would concur on a scope of the study and help select a consultant to do the study. After that, the consultant would hold a series of open houses and develop a final plan that would be reviewed by the steering committee and recommended to local government and state agencies involved in downtown.
Mr. Inglish estimated that the study would cost about $250,000. He said UTA could pay $80,000 of the figure; the City another $80,000; and the rest of the cost could be borne by the state and private entities with a stake in the downtown. He said some issues the study could address were the Intermodal Hub, future development in the Gateway area; the downtown free-fare zone, and UTA's agreements with Salt Lake City regarding light-rail and buses.