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Letter: Expanded UTA service will help curb the spread of COVID-19

SHARE Letter: Expanded UTA service will help curb the spread of COVID-19
Marci Warren, Utah Transit Authority customer experience researcher, holds a sign up to a FrontRunner train at the Salt Lake Central Station in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, as she and her team test where to hang new signs alerting passengers that face masks must be worn in order to ride public transit.

Marci Warren, Utah Transit Authority customer experience researcher, holds a sign up to a FrontRunner train at the Salt Lake Central Station in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, as she and her team test where to hang new signs alerting passengers that face masks must be worn in order to ride public transit.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Utah Transit Authority recently announced plans to restore service back to 91% of pre-pandemic offerings on Aug. 23. This change is sorely needed. Ridership is currently about 70% below normal, but there is still a sizable segment of the community — in particular low-income residents — that depend on public transit to perform essential activities like working.

Slashing service may have been a cost-effective move, but it came with some staggering consequences for riders — and not just an even more cumbersome commute. As a daily rider of the No. 9 bus route and TRAX, I‘ve found that social distancing has been far more difficult to achieve since the service reduction. I appreciate the mask requirement, but proper social distancing is also essential to slow the spread of COVID-19. Going forward, I hope the increased service will lead to a safer transit experience for all.

Ryan Curtis

Salt Lake City