On one of the busiest weekends in recent memory, thousands of Wasatch Front residents opted for public transportation. On Saturday, Sept. 5, TRAX recorded more than 86,500 boardings, a 141 percent increase over average Saturday ridership. FrontRunner ridership was 129 percent above average, with more than 15,000 recorded boardings. On Friday, TRAX and FrontRunner boardings were up 54 percent and 40 percent, respectively.
“We’re pleased to see so many residents relying on UTA to get to events quickly and conveniently,” said Utah Transit Authority General Manager Michael Allegra. “With the FrontLines 2015 projects now complete, the S Line streetcar opening this December, and other service improvements, Wasatch Front residents have more public transportation choices than ever before, especially during major events in the community.”
The weekend brought an unusual number of events to the Wasatch Front, including University of Utah and Brigham Young University football games, the Utah State Fair’s opening weekend, the Salt Lake City Greek Festival, Mormon Tabernacle Choir concerts with James Taylor, the Avenues Street Fair and Salt Lake Comic Con. The Downtown Alliance expected more than 90,000 people at Comic Con and the Utah football game alone.
UTA and the Downtown Alliance encouraged residents to take public transportation to reduce traffic congestion and avoid overwhelming parking facilities. To help passengers reach their destinations on Saturday, UTA increased frequency on FrontRunner and added additional cars to TRAX trains. Direct bus service connected FrontRunner riders to the University of Utah and BYU football stadiums. UTA also extended FrontRunner service to 1:20 a.m. to account for a two-hour rain delay at the BYU football game.
UTA has seen higher than normal ridership over the last two weeks due to athletic and cultural events. Since August 29, UTA’s TRAX ridership has exceeded 80,000 on four separate days.