The Utah Transit Authority has been in the news a lot in the last few weeks. Some of the news has been negative, but most of it has been positive.
The first article that I’d like to highlight is “Salt Lake City: How a Remote Red-State City Became a Transit Leader” from Angie Schmitt at Streetsblog Capitol Hill. She did a good job highlighting the positive side of UTA’s rail expansion, and I really like how she brought up the good things that have come out of Envision Utah.
City Weekly published a critique of UTA that was barely worth the paper that it was printed on. Katharine Biele wrote an article entitled “Money Train,” which was a huge disappointment considering the recent increase in the quality of City Weekly‘s articles. I wrote “City Weekly’s Attack on UTA” in response. The sad thing is that the article did highlight some of the questionable things that UTA has done lately, for example, the land deals involving the Draper FrontRunner Station. However, the sources cited by the author in her critique of UTA causes the article to loose any credibility that it might have had.
Just this week, there was some reporting on UTA’s ridership. Lee Davidson at the Salt Lake Tribune wrote “Despite UTA’s big expansion, ridership drops.” (He also got my name wrong in an article last summer.) The Tribune, like many other news outlets, has a habit of publishing sensational headlines to attract readers when the news is on the slow side. Unfortunately UTA is often a target when the news is slow. It’s sad that the Tribune chooses to do that, since it causes Utah’s best newspaper to loose a lot of credibility. UTA countered the Tribune article by publishing “Ridership on UTA is healthy, but changing as new rail lines open” on their blog.
Finally, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to wake up to an article on the New York Times‘ transit blog about Salt Lake City. In “New Ways to Get Around Salt Lake City” not only was the new TRAX line linking the airport highlighted but also our bike share, GreenBikeSLC! They also made mention of our new streetcar line opening later this year.