Ed McCaffrey, advertising director of the Newspaper Agency Corp., has been elected chairman of the Transportation Management Association of Utah, a newly formed organization that will help Salt Lake area businesses deal with the impact of I-15 construction.
Bill Swann of AT&T Universal Card was elected vice chairman and Manny Kepas of Dean Witter, Discover & Co. was elected secretary-treasurer.These three people in addition to Russell Homer, representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Durrell Dibb, representing First Security Corp., will comprise the executive committee. Jess Agraz has taken a leave of absence from Bingham Engineering to spearhead the effort of helping businesses cope with the highway work.
TMA has filed incorporation papers and 12 firms that already have donated $5,000 each are included as the incorporators. They are Associated Foods; AT the LDS Church; Dean Witter; Fidelity Investments; First Security Bank; Intermountain Health Care; NAC; Pacificorp; United Parcel Service; Zions Bancorp.; and Westminster College.
Agraz said others large companies like Sinclair Oil and American Stores have been invited to become members and have a vote in the proceedings and other smaller companies can be non-voting members at a later date.
The purpose of the group is to gather data not only how commuter traffic can be lessened during the 41/2 years of scheduled road construction but how companies with large fleets of trucks can continue doing business by using alternate routes a less-busy times of the day.
NAC, the company handling the advertising, circulation and production for the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune, is an example of a company that will be affected by the road construction because it runs a large fleet of newspaper delivery trucks and also must bring supplies to the press area.
One of the issues raised in the group's first meeting was the possibility of asking more employees to ride Utah Transit Authority buses to keep as many cars off the road as possible.
In answer to a question about putting on additional routes early in the morning to accommodate employees with flexible hours, John Inglish, UTA assistant general manager, said the bus company has all of its operators and buses in use already.
Inglish said there are some old buses being held in reserve for emergencies that could be used, but the biggest item is finding and training operators because that takes large sums of money for salaries.
He said contracts dictate that changes in schedules can be made only in mid-April, late August and late November, so the earliest that schedule changes can be made is August. Inglish said when there are significant changes made the federal government requires holding public hearings and that takes time.
Promising to work with TMA, Inglish said another alternative is running a commuter rail service between Provo and Salt Lake City and that would allow UTA officials to use the buses and operators on the Provo-Salt Lake City runs on other routes to increase service.
McCaffery said TMA also should concentrate on overcoming the attitude of many people that once road construction begins I-15 will be shut down completely and travel will be a disaster. He said there will be inconveniences, but everyone must work out their own alternate routes and change some times to continue operating their businesses.