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  #7181  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 7:40 PM
tygr tygr is offline
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Why do they need to do a flyover (pink solid)? That just complicates the whole spaghetti bowl they're creating with criss-crossing traffic.

Why can't they just skirt along the edge of the tarmac (dotted pink) and have the station end right at the terminal at ground level? Having tracks along the boundary fence also creates another security barrier between the tarmac and private vehicles on the east side.

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  #7182  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 9:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tygr View Post
Why do they need to do a flyover (pink solid)? That just complicates the whole spaghetti bowl they're creating with criss-crossing traffic.

Why can't they just skirt along the edge of the tarmac (dotted pink) and have the station end right at the terminal at ground level? Having tracks along the boundary fence also creates another security barrier between the tarmac and private vehicles on the east side.

There isn't very much space in the terminal area for TRAX. It's definitely possible, but they created a dedicated gateway center in the garage with check-ins. I figured they don't want people crossing over to the gateway center and then having to cross back, but that certainly is possible.

It's not contributing to the "spaghetti bowl of traffic"... if it's isolated from the road, then I don't see what your point is about the complexity of the roadway system.
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  #7183  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 2:39 AM
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This whole conflict about the airport TRAX relocation is so infuriating. The whole airport reconstruction will cost $2.9 billion, and they are arguing over $67 million - or 0.2% of the whole cost. There is only one suitable solution: Include the TRAX relocation as part of the airport reconstruction project. The airport project will be worse off without the TRAX relocation and the increase in the cost to the project will be statistically insignificant.

This is just as dumb as certain politicians (Trump, Romney, etc) suggesting we cut funding to Amtrak to cut government spending. In fact, Amtrak's subsidy from the government such an amazingly small fraction of a single percent that it would effectively save the government no money at all, but would do unquantifiable harm to the Amtrak employees, regular passengers, businesses along the routes, etc.

Infrastructure spending in this country is so badly prioritized and so unnecessarily politicized it makes me wonder how anything ever got built in the first place.
I forgot to mention that the board recently approved a $350 million dollar construction overrun and a $740 million dollar contract for the new concourse with no dissent. And yet we bicker over 2 percent of the construction costs of the entire airport. I don't understand why, we paid for the streetcar, we paid for Frontlines and came in like $500 million under budget, can't we pay for a TRAX realignment that will dramatically improve connection to our brand new $3bn airport? Is that really too much to ask? Sometimes I love SLC. Sometimes I hate it...

Edit: I'd like to know why money wasn't set aside from the Frontlines projects...

Last edited by jubguy3; May 3, 2017 at 5:00 AM.
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  #7184  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 1:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tygr View Post
Why do they need to do a flyover (pink solid)? That just complicates the whole spaghetti bowl they're creating with criss-crossing traffic.

Why can't they just skirt along the edge of the tarmac (dotted pink) and have the station end right at the terminal at ground level? Having tracks along the boundary fence also creates another security barrier between the tarmac and private vehicles on the east side.
I like this suggestion. I think it is better than the plan to put it the station in the parking garage. Perhaps there will be something special about the 'welcome center' Jubguy mentioned, but I've never used the current welcome center and I don't really see the point.
This design would reduce complexity for the TRAX infrastructure, but would create more complexity for the human infrastructure; since the airport functions on 3 levels (arrivals, departures, and something else I forgot) there would need to be escalators and elevators to get passengers from the TRAX station to and from the correct levels. Certainly doable.

And to answer jubguy's concerns, while the TRAX bridge doesn't contribute to the complexity of the spaghetti bowl from a driver's point of view (no added on-ramps to create more decisions) it does add complexity in terms of structures (foundation proximities), ROW, and overhead clearances.

Lastly, Jubguy's math was better than mine. $67,000,000/$2,900,000,000 = 0.023, or a full 2%, not 0.2% Still, from the airport's point of view this is an insignificant amount of money. For Salt Lake City and for UTA, it is very significant. For example, that money could buy over 30 new FrontRunner cars so that each train could be 7 cars long and still have some cars and money left over. Or, since a new bus route costs on average of $200,000 a year to run, it could pay for 335 bus routes for a year.
Forcing either the city or UTA to pay for relocating the costs is unreasonable, since it is the airport that gains much of the financial benefit of TRAX service. The airport estimated that only 7% of passengers arrive by TRAX, which I think is sort of low. Even so, if you have the chance to eliminate 7% of all the available parking, you can save an enormous amount of money. More than $67 million I'm guessing.
Lastly, the airport seems to have no trouble paying for enormous parking garages, new roads, new bridges, new signs, new roadway lighting... new everything for cars. Why the aversion towards transit? I thought we'd made more progress in this valley about being more multi-modal.
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  #7185  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 2:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatman View Post
I like this suggestion. I think it is better than the plan to put it the station in the parking garage. Perhaps there will be something special about the 'welcome center' Jubguy mentioned, but I've never used the current welcome center and I don't really see the point.
This design would reduce complexity for the TRAX infrastructure, but would create more complexity for the human infrastructure; since the airport functions on 3 levels (arrivals, departures, and something else I forgot) there would need to be escalators and elevators to get passengers from the TRAX station to and from the correct levels. Certainly doable.

And to answer jubguy's concerns, while the TRAX bridge doesn't contribute to the complexity of the spaghetti bowl from a driver's point of view (no added on-ramps to create more decisions) it does add complexity in terms of structures (foundation proximities), ROW, and overhead clearances.

Lastly, Jubguy's math was better than mine. $67,000,000/$2,900,000,000 = 0.023, or a full 2%, not 0.2% Still, from the airport's point of view this is an insignificant amount of money. For Salt Lake City and for UTA, it is very significant. For example, that money could buy over 30 new FrontRunner cars so that each train could be 7 cars long and still have some cars and money left over. Or, since a new bus route costs on average of $200,000 a year to run, it could pay for 335 bus routes for a year.
Forcing either the city or UTA to pay for relocating the costs is unreasonable, since it is the airport that gains much of the financial benefit of TRAX service. The airport estimated that only 7% of passengers arrive by TRAX, which I think is sort of low. Even so, if you have the chance to eliminate 7% of all the available parking, you can save an enormous amount of money. More than $67 million I'm guessing.
Lastly, the airport seems to have no trouble paying for enormous parking garages, new roads, new bridges, new signs, new roadway lighting... new everything for cars. Why the aversion towards transit? I thought we'd made more progress in this valley about being more multi-modal.
The gateway center is where check in for Delta flights is located. It's essentially just an extension of the terminal. There is a dedicated space that opens directly onto the trax platform. I dont think that the planners could have integrated TRAX with the same level of ease of usage in the terminal.

If I remember correctly, 55 percent of flights to and from the airport are O/D. That means (very roughly) that 700,000 people accessed the airport by TRAX, and it's destined to keep improving as time goes on.

The actual structure shouldn't be difficult to complete, but what's infuriating that since the conception of both of the 1990's master plans for Airport TRAX and a parallel concourse reconstruction (as opposed to demolishing the IAB and concourse E to reconstruct a third terminal and finish the semicircular airport) it was clear that if TRAX was completed before the reconstruction it would need to be moved. That's why UTA put trax so far before terminal 1 and specifically built the welcome center and tracks cheaply to be able to demolish them later. I think the welcome center is part of the airfield for the South Concourse East and the welcome center is not a long term structure. Pylons may not have been necessary before the multilevel terminal design, but it's certainly the best investment now. Portland built a single MAX station 200 feet underground so it could be closer to a zoo... can we please just get ourselves together and collectively embrace transit as a benefit, not a burden to our finances. The North Temple viaduct station is certainly the not the cheapest setup for the configuration UTA used... but the ease of use transferring directly to frontrunner is so much better than had the station been placed under I-15 and the viaduct been made narrower. It's investments like those that make transit an integral part of society. I'm still astonished that UTA managed to construct an aesthetically pleasing, functional multimodal station. It's one of the only trax stations that feels like it wasn't designed with the explicit intention of being as cheap and functionless as possible to save money. The investment that would be made for a reconfigured airport TRAX line represents the entire investment UTA has made to North Temple and the Airport. If we are willing to throw away the convenience and civic benefit of the Airport TRAX line to operate a shuttle bus only because of financial stinginess, I don't understand why we built the airport TRAX in the first place. The stingy choices we make like this is why the Salt Lake Central station is so horrible, why transit Innovations like a main Street transit mall, innovative ticketing methods, and meaningfully designed stations are out of the question for UTA. Transit has to be explicitly integrated into our lives to make it worthwhile. Taking a shuttle bus to save an extra $30 million and incurring the long term costs of running those busses shows how stingy we have come to save an extra bit of Muh Tax Dollars.

I'd like to know why Frontlines didn't set aside money for this. Where did that 500 million dollar excess end up? In the hands of Allegra?
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  #7186  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 3:55 PM
Makid Makid is offline
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The Airport is restricted by State Law from using any funds to support Transit that isn't dedicated within the Airport (underground trains/people movers). So the burden of moving Trax is on SLC and UTA unless the State wanted to step in and offer funding as well (more on this in a moment).

The savings from the Frontlines expansions were in the value of unbonded resources. This means that funds weren't realized as they weren't needed. In total it was around $400 Million in unneeded funds. These funds if bonded for over 30 years would have totaled the $500 Million in savings that is discussed frequently.

By the law that authorized the Frontlines expansion, UTA does have access to the funds provided it is used for an approved project (Green Line, Red Line, Blue Line or FrontRunner South). This means that UTA can bond for the money needed to relocate Trax. It also means that the Blue Line extension to the SL County/Utah County border could be bonded for today. Lastly, it also means that UTA could work on double tracking FrontRunner South. All of these are possible today with only an authorization vote from the UTA Board. The funds however cannot be used for something that wasn't stated such as increased bus service.

Coming back to the part above about the State possibly providing funds for Trax. I do think that the increased talk we have seen about Trax to Lehi/Utah County in the Legislature increase further. It may not be the next session but I do think that 2019 or 2020 the State will need to step in and probably force the Proposition 1 increase in Utah and SL Counties (if the counties haven't yet passed it).

The State would do this with the intention of bringing Trax to Lehi/Utah County as well as Trax extending towards the relocated prison. This will also bring Trax through the International Center as well as through the Inland Port (Probably #1 or #2 topic of the 2018 session).

I do think that the State will also directly provide funding to additional transit along the Wasatch Front soon. This is mostly due to the EPA classifying the majority of the area as a Serious Non-Containment Area. If the designation doesn't change soon, the State will lose funding for Roads and be forced to pass all laws that other states have enacted to improve air quality. This may include some of the statewide transit authorizations that some states have passed to help with air quality.

So without additional transit funding and usage, Utah will have the same air quality regulations and laws that California has as well as any additional regulations and laws that other states have passed. Dedicated Transit Funding, Stronger Limits on Emissions for all vehicles as well as Industries (MagCorp), Limits on Mining and air particles (Rio Tinto, Point of Mountain (North and South), and Limits on Coal Power emissions. These are the minimum that could be forced on the State by 2020.

So sorry about the minor tangent but real possibilities for change in Transit usage and behavior might be coming soon.
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  #7187  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 5:37 PM
tygr tygr is offline
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Nevermind. Hatman covered my response to jubguy3.
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Last edited by tygr; May 3, 2017 at 5:48 PM.
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  #7188  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makid View Post
The Airport is restricted by State Law from using any funds to support Transit that isn't dedicated within the Airport (underground trains/people movers). So the burden of moving Trax is on SLC and UTA unless the State wanted to step in and offer funding as well (more on this in a moment).

The savings from the Frontlines expansions were in the value of unbonded resources. This means that funds weren't realized as they weren't needed. In total it was around $400 Million in unneeded funds. These funds if bonded for over 30 years would have totaled the $500 Million in savings that is discussed frequently.

By the law that authorized the Frontlines expansion, UTA does have access to the funds provided it is used for an approved project (Green Line, Red Line, Blue Line or FrontRunner South). This means that UTA can bond for the money needed to relocate Trax. It also means that the Blue Line extension to the SL County/Utah County border could be bonded for today. Lastly, it also means that UTA could work on double tracking FrontRunner South. All of these are possible today with only an authorization vote from the UTA Board. The funds however cannot be used for something that wasn't stated such as increased bus service.

Coming back to the part above about the State possibly providing funds for Trax. I do think that the increased talk we have seen about Trax to Lehi/Utah County in the Legislature increase further. It may not be the next session but I do think that 2019 or 2020 the State will need to step in and probably force the Proposition 1 increase in Utah and SL Counties (if the counties haven't yet passed it).

The State would do this with the intention of bringing Trax to Lehi/Utah County as well as Trax extending towards the relocated prison. This will also bring Trax through the International Center as well as through the Inland Port (Probably #1 or #2 topic of the 2018 session).

I do think that the State will also directly provide funding to additional transit along the Wasatch Front soon. This is mostly due to the EPA classifying the majority of the area as a Serious Non-Containment Area. If the designation doesn't change soon, the State will lose funding for Roads and be forced to pass all laws that other states have enacted to improve air quality. This may include some of the statewide transit authorizations that some states have passed to help with air quality.

So without additional transit funding and usage, Utah will have the same air quality regulations and laws that California has as well as any additional regulations and laws that other states have passed. Dedicated Transit Funding, Stronger Limits on Emissions for all vehicles as well as Industries (MagCorp), Limits on Mining and air particles (Rio Tinto, Point of Mountain (North and South), and Limits on Coal Power emissions. These are the minimum that could be forced on the State by 2020.

So sorry about the minor tangent but real possibilities for change in Transit usage and behavior might be coming soon.
Very intriguing. Great info.

What would happen if the airport constructed the TRAX station for UTA, and then had UTA pay rent? Would that be legal under the state law?
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  #7189  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 11:04 PM
Makid Makid is offline
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Very intriguing. Great info.

What would happen if the airport constructed the TRAX station for UTA, and then had UTA pay rent? Would that be legal under the state law?
I don't think it would because the Airport would be spending the money. To comply with State law, the Airport can't pay for the extension.

I do wonder if the Airport could possibly pay for infrastructure though. Say the ramps, station and the like but not the rails, ticket machines, power lines and poles. I wonder if that would be a way around it since it would still require UTA to place the rails and join them to the existing line.
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  #7190  
Old Posted May 3, 2017, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Makid View Post
I don't think it would because the Airport would be spending the money. To comply with State law, the Airport can't pay for the extension.

I do wonder if the Airport could possibly pay for infrastructure though. Say the ramps, station and the like but not the rails, ticket machines, power lines and poles. I wonder if that would be a way around it since it would still require UTA to place the rails and join them to the existing line.
Yeah, I'm no lawyer, but I know that if you're good at 'defining your terms' you can get away with all kinds of stuff. I think there's a strong case for a proposal like yours, and so long as the airport, UTA, and state lawmakers are all willing to play along there is a deal that could be reached.
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  #7191  
Old Posted May 4, 2017, 9:45 PM
Liberty Wellsian Liberty Wellsian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makid View Post
The Airport is restricted by State Law from using any funds to support Transit that isn't dedicated within the Airport (underground trains/people movers). So the burden of moving Trax is on SLC and UTA unless the State wanted to step in and offer funding as well (more on this in a moment).

The savings from the Frontlines expansions were in the value of unbonded resources. This means that funds weren't realized as they weren't needed. In total it was around $400 Million in unneeded funds. These funds if bonded for over 30 years would have totaled the $500 Million in savings that is discussed frequently.

By the law that authorized the Frontlines expansion, UTA does have access to the funds provided it is used for an approved project (Green Line, Red Line, Blue Line or FrontRunner South). This means that UTA can bond for the money needed to relocate Trax. It also means that the Blue Line extension to the SL County/Utah County border could be bonded for today. Lastly, it also means that UTA could work on double tracking FrontRunner South. All of these are possible today with only an authorization vote from the UTA Board. The funds however cannot be used for something that wasn't stated such as increased bus service.

Coming back to the part above about the State possibly providing funds for Trax. I do think that the increased talk we have seen about Trax to Lehi/Utah County in the Legislature increase further. It may not be the next session but I do think that 2019 or 2020 the State will need to step in and probably force the Proposition 1 increase in Utah and SL Counties (if the counties haven't yet passed it).

The State would do this with the intention of bringing Trax to Lehi/Utah County as well as Trax extending towards the relocated prison. This will also bring Trax through the International Center as well as through the Inland Port (Probably #1 or #2 topic of the 2018 session).

I do think that the State will also directly provide funding to additional transit along the Wasatch Front soon. This is mostly due to the EPA classifying the majority of the area as a Serious Non-Containment Area. If the designation doesn't change soon, the State will lose funding for Roads and be forced to pass all laws that other states have enacted to improve air quality. This may include some of the statewide transit authorizations that some states have passed to help with air quality.

So without additional transit funding and usage, Utah will have the same air quality regulations and laws that California has as well as any additional regulations and laws that other states have passed. Dedicated Transit Funding, Stronger Limits on Emissions for all vehicles as well as Industries (MagCorp), Limits on Mining and air particles (Rio Tinto, Point of Mountain (North and South), and Limits on Coal Power emissions. These are the minimum that could be forced on the State by 2020.

So sorry about the minor tangent but real possibilities for change in Transit usage and behavior might be coming soon.
What!?

Really!?

Hey UTA board, don't leave that money on the table. Maybe do something before increased construction costs eat up a bunch of it.
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  #7192  
Old Posted May 8, 2017, 3:45 AM
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  #7193  
Old Posted May 8, 2017, 5:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jubguy3 View Post
The Tribune is misleading, as usual towards UTA.

"Raising it to a full penny per dollar would require a 45 percent sales tax boost."

This sentence makes it seem like UTA is raising the entire sales tax 45 percent. It should say that UTA will increase its share of sales tax 45 percent. The entire sales tax would only increase 4.5 percent, which isn't that big of a tax increase.
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  #7194  
Old Posted May 23, 2017, 3:33 PM
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This is not specifically Salt Lake transit news, but it is related to Utah:
Feds approve $647 million grant for Caltrain electrification project
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/05/2...ime=1495478103

The relation to Utah is that the electric trains will be built by Stadler here in Clearfield, if that factory gets approved and built.

The other connection to Utah is that UTA wants to eventually electrify FrontRunner, while CalTrain actually is electrifying their line. Currently they have diesel locomotives pushing bilevel push-pull commuter cars, just like our system. By switching from diesel to electric propulsion (with EMU trainsets) they will increase the speed of their trains, decrease travel time, and increase frequency to a train every 10 minutes.

Can you imagine what a 10 minute frequency would do for FrontRunner ridership? And can you imagine what that ridership would do for density in downtown Salt Lake? Now take that and add what will happen when trip times are reduced by 25% due to faster acceleration and higher speeds? (FrontRunner is already constructed to a 90 mph standard in certain stretches but does not reach them due to slow-accelerating diesel power). Provo to Salt Lake Central in 45 minutes instead of an hour; North Temple to Ogden in 38 minutes rather than 51. And that isn't counting in the 17 minutes that was added into the schedule when the South line was first opened and the original tighter schedule proved to be unreliable (electric trains would be able to keep that schedule).

Back to Caltrain.

This isn't exactly a 1:1 comparison, however. Caltrain already had 2 tracks along its length, and it is only electrifying 51 miles of track. To electrify and double-track FrontRunner we would need to build nearly 70 miles of second track and electrify all 89 miles (I'm excluding Pleasant View - let that be dropped again until the Brigham City extension happens). I could argue that FrontRunner, with no express service, no passing tracks, no tunnels, and no stub-end stations (like King Street or San Jose) would be simpler and therefore cheaper to electrify, but that's just conjecture.
But Caltrain is also doing things that we would not need to. For example, they are rebuilding all 26 stations along their route to make them all high-level stations (so that the High Speed Rail can share platforms later on). As a consequence, their trains are a very expensive custom order that includes doors for both low-level and high-level platforms. UTA would not need to rebuild any stations, nor would we need any extra-expensive custom-ordered trains (just the regular off-the-shelf trains already in use elsewhere in the world). Also, having the trains build by Stadler in Utah would make them even cheaper, since UTA could test the trains frequently and send them back to the factory for modifications without huge transportation costs, lawsuits, and extensive delays.


What I'm saying is that we could very easily be the next North American commuter rail line to electrify, after both Toronto and Caltrain lead the way and set the precedent. We could do it cheaper than them, since we do not need to rebuild our stations and since the trains could be made in our state, even though we have more 2nd track to build and more overall length to electrify. It would still costs in the hundreds-of-millions of dollars to do, but we're already spending BILLIONS on freeways without much help from the federal government, so we have the means of paying for it on our own. Also, with the EPA ranking Salt Lake as 'serious' for pollution violations, it might be easier for us to get federal grants to do things that would clean up our air, such as eliminating diesel locomotives and adding significant capacity to our non-polluting commuter rail line.

This is in my opinion a no-brainer. I want to hear our elected officials begin planning for this project now, while the window opportunity is wide open.

Last edited by Hatman; May 23, 2017 at 3:45 PM.
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  #7195  
Old Posted May 23, 2017, 6:27 PM
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Would electrification permit substantially higher speed? If so, I'm aboard.

Frontrunner is almost good enough, as is, to be a viable competitor to driving to work, especially for long-distance inter-county commutes during morning and afternoon rush. If it were actually 20+% faster than driving, we'd have a real winner on our hands.
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  #7196  
Old Posted May 23, 2017, 6:28 PM
Makid Makid is offline
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I saw this article the other day and until now, I haven't had time to post about it:

http://www.sltrib.com/news/5298527-1...-into-possible
New task force digs into possible transportation reform

Quote:
A new state transportation task force was launched Tuesday, seeking how to finance billions of dollars needed for future projects — and how best to govern transportation agencies, including the controversial Utah Transit Authority.

The Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force faces some daunting challenges, including UTA reporting that it lacks sufficient funds for now-planned transit projects — and big tax increases may be needed to pursue them.

Also, the task force heard that booming population growth likely will exceed the state's capacity to handle transportation needs in traditional ways, so transit and newer live-and-work-in-the-same-area developments may become more important.
Quote:
Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, wrote the legislation and was appointed co-chairman of the task force. He said it seeks to "create a system of transportation coordination, funding, governance and mobility for our state for the next 20 to 40 years — a pretty challenging task."

He said it will look at ways to possibly eliminate funding silos now separating money for transit, roads, airports and other projects. "We need to figure out a better way to prioritize projects and get funding into the most important parts."

Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, the other co-chairman, said tight funding complicates the task. For example, in the early '90s, he said, gasoline tax revenue covered about 90 percent of state road funds. "Today it only covers 50 percent," he said, because it has not kept up with inflation.

Schultz added, "Transit is going to be a key mode" to handle expected rapid population growth and, "we heed to look at how to fund transit going into the future."

That may be tough because UTA President and CEO Jerry Benson said earlier this month that the many extensions of TRAX, FrontRunner and bus rapid transit projects now in long-range regional plans cannot be funded with current resources.

He said those plans assumed Utah would have a penny per dollar sales tax for transit by now. It is far less — 0.69 cents per dollar in Salt Lake County, for example. Raising it to a full penny per dollar would require a 45 percent tax increase.
The big news with this Task Force is that it is the start to an actual change of thinking at the State level. They are already on record as saying that they (the State) need to begin focusing on Transit and Higher Density Developments in order to meet the coming population growth.

Over the next 8 months (ending just prior to the next Legislative Session), the task force will review Local, County, Region (WFRC & MAG) and State plans as well as the current funding levels.

The Task Force will also be reviewing how the transit and transportation units are configured as well as communication between them.

It should be expected that Either before the next session or early into it, multiple bills will be introduced to begin to tackle the primary goals of the Task Force.

I expect something like the following:

Because the need for the 45%+ transit sales tax increase is close to dire, Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah Counties will have their transit sales tax increased to a full 1% from where it is currently.

There will be an adjustment to the "Prop 1" language that will allow 25% of the increase to go to Counties and 70% to go to Cities (still capped though at .25% sales tax increase) to go to their desired projects. This can be Transit, Roads or a combination.

Minimum Density Requirements will be made for parcels within 1/4 mile of Rail and BRT stations and 1/8 to 1/4 mile from Regular to Enhanced bus stops. The new requirements will only be applied to new projects (not currently approved or under construction). Current uses are grandfathered in.

An adjustment to the existing Gas Tax formula so that it increases a bit faster than inflation to gradually increase the spending power of the funds.

Towards the end of the session I think there will be 2 additional bills that may or may not be completed before the session ends (If not passed in 2018, will be brought back in 2019):

First, split UDoT into 2 groups (Wasatch Front and Elsewhere). The Wasatch Front division of UDoT will be merged with UTA and be titled something like Wasatch Front Transportation Association (WFTA). The Elsewhere group will keep the UDoT moniker. Funding for WFTA will be from 100% of the existing Transit Sales Taxes and 50% of the Gas Tax collected in the area. UDoT will be funded by 100% of the Gas Tax outside of the WFTA and 50% from within.

The WFTA will be required to gradually over time decrease the amount of transit sales tax funding used to pay for construction of projects. After 10 years (2029), WFTA must be using no less than 75% of the transit tax for operations, maintenance, and fare reductions.

The remaining 25% of the Transit tax will be solely for transit projects ranging from bicycle routes/trails through to bus stop upgrades/enhancements to rail expansion.

WFTA will be able to use its portion of the Gas Tax as needed for both Road/Highway projects and maintenance and Transit projects as determined by the elected WFTA board and the WFRC and MAG planning groups. This limits road projects to those that will have greater impact as well as ensures that transit projects that would use Gas tax funding would have a great impact within the area, such as Double Tracking and Electrifying Front Runner.

Second, along the Wasatch Front, transit will be 50% off on Yellow and Free on Red air quality days. Paid from the General Fund.

Some may be a stretch but I think all are possible with most probable in the next few years.
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  #7197  
Old Posted May 23, 2017, 8:56 PM
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^^^
I like the sound of your proposal, Makid. Combining UDOT and UTA along the Wasatch Front (in organization and funding) could streamline a few things. Do you have a feel for how likely this is - do the people you plan with share your vision?
Also, it seems to me like there would be room for a VMT fee in your funding scheme as well. I don't want the gas tax to be replaced - gasoline ought to be taxes as an environmental contaminate - but I'm of the mind that a VMT should be the primary means of funding road construction and maintenance (and with electric vehicles on their way, perhaps we will have no choice!).

Encouraging article on transportation reform. I hope they see it through.
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  #7198  
Old Posted May 23, 2017, 9:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i-215 View Post
Would electrification permit substantially higher speed? If so, I'm aboard.

Frontrunner is almost good enough, as is, to be a viable competitor to driving to work, especially for long-distance inter-county commutes during morning and afternoon rush. If it were actually 20+% faster than driving, we'd have a real winner on our hands.
Without significant money to rebuild the existing track substructure, I don't think speeds of 90 mph will be feasible. There is the possibility that the light-weight Stadler trains (or other EMU equivalents) would be allowed to run faster on the existing track, but there's no way to confirm that without more details.

All I can say is that in my personal talks with Steve Meyer (Chief Capital officer or something at UTA), he seemed pretty passionate about future upgrades with speeds up to 110 mph.

But top speeds are not as important as average speeds, which is why electric EMU trains (and their superior accel/decel abilities) are so important for improving FrontRunner service. I've already made my estimation of travel times under such a service: 25% faster. 45 minutes Provo to Salt Lake,

I'd be curious to hear what your regular travel times are via car for those trips. In fact, we should have a "Salt Lake Transit News Thread Poll", where we each take turns saying how long our commute is (miles), how long it takes (minutes) and how what mode(s) is used. We can then determine determine how fast a transit alternative needs to be in order to be considered attractive.

I'll go first:
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 35 minutes
Modes: Bike+TRAX

Alternatively, if I skip TRAX:
Distance: 9 miles
Time: 45 minutes
Mode: Bike

So when I use TRAX, my average speed is (10 miles)/(35 minutes)*(60 minutes/hour) = 17 mph. When I use my bike, my average speed is 12 mph.
I haven't ever driven myself to work, so I can't make a fair comparison. Google says it is 10.8 miles by car and that it should take 18 minutes (averaging 36 mph) but that isn't taking traffic into account, which is the whole point of a survey.
So be brave! Throw your commute times/distances/modes out onto the internet for us to see! Maybe we'll learn something interesting.
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  #7199  
Old Posted May 23, 2017, 9:38 PM
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Speaking of transit ridership increases, one way to do that, without increasing services, which with increased ridership it would be easier to justify the increase in funding. The way to increase without expanding service is to substantially increase densities at every single Trax and FrontRunner Stations. Each Trax station needs to have 1,000 housing units minimum within 1/4 mile of the station. Sandy 100th S is getting there as is Murray North (45th) but there are many others that are very much lacking, that have some serious potential, Midvale is starting, just North and West of Midvale Central station. There is a ton of property surrounding that station, with the old Family Stores, adjacent to the station east and west as well as across the street to the north where Joe Moreleys is. Once the one under construction leases out I expect the other properties to redevelop quickly.
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  #7200  
Old Posted May 23, 2017, 10:58 PM
Makid Makid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatman View Post
^^^
I like the sound of your proposal, Makid. Combining UDOT and UTA along the Wasatch Front (in organization and funding) could streamline a few things. Do you have a feel for how likely this is - do the people you plan with share your vision?
Also, it seems to me like there would be room for a VMT fee in your funding scheme as well. I don't want the gas tax to be replaced - gasoline ought to be taxes as an environmental contaminate - but I'm of the mind that a VMT should be the primary means of funding road construction and maintenance (and with electric vehicles on their way, perhaps we will have no choice!).

Encouraging article on transportation reform. I hope they see it through.
As of now, it is just my proposal but I have submitted it to a few people in the legislature (worded slightly different). I encourage all that like it to also submit it, in mine or their own words.

I don't think a VMT fee is feasible until we get better transit service frequencies to the suburbs.

I think that my plan is very feasible and likely if I get more legislators read it. I do plan to send this out to more of them over the next few months. Especially when there is any transit or transportation news (good or bad) that happens along the Wasatch Front.
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