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UTA predicts little impact from reduced Black Friday service

By Andrew Wittenberg | Posted - Nov 21st, 2012 @ 10:32pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Transit Authority is catching some heat about reducing some of its services on Black Friday. The agency cites budget concerns as the reason, and says your commute downtown shouldn't be impacted.

On the busiest shopping day of the year, UTA plans to to run TRAX trains and city buses on a Sunday schedule; FrontRunner will run on a Saturday schedule.

"Historically, our ridership on Black Friday is lower than an average Friday this time of year," explained Gerry Carpenter, UTA spokesman.

That means less service, and Carpenter says it's because money is tight and commuters won't be coming downtown en masse.

"Do we put it out on a holiday when fewer people are riding? Or do we put it out throughout the rest of the year when people can benefit from it?" he said, referring to how UTA approached the situation.

That didn't sit well with some people on Wednesday. They questioned a cut in service as news developed that former UTA general manager Larry Inglish enjoys a lavish pension.

It's also the first Black Friday for City Creek, where employees don't even know what to expect.

"I don't know what to assume, I don't know what it's going to be like," said Sava Khoshnaw, who frequently rides TRAX. "I hope it's crazy busy."

Even though UTA expects lower ridership on Friday, the agency maintains whatever rush comes they'll be ready.

Downtown TRAX riders certainly hope so.

"A lot of people in my company are working Black Friday," said TRAX rider Liz Alley, "so the slower TRAX might affect their work."

There is also a Jazz game scheduled Friday night. Carpenter maintained UTA will be ready. It plans to have trains and buses running early and late to accommodate passengers, he said, so keep an eye on the schedule.


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