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SALT LAKE CITY -- Fewer people are taking advantage of FrontRunner. One year ago, the commuter service began with packed trains. Now ridership is far below expectations.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports trains are running 31 percent emptier than transit officials projected when the line opened last year. Instead of the expected 5,900 riders on weekdays, ridership was 4,083 in March.
Utah Transit Authority blames the economy and the price of gas, which seems to be driving ridership. When pump prices exploded at more than $4 a gallon last August, an average of 8,800 commuters crowded the trains each day.
UTA spokesperson Carrie Bohnsack isn't worried yet. "We're definitely confident that just riding it out, everything's going to be OK. So it's a blip in the overall picture of things," she said.
TRAX also has seen a decline in ridership, but it hasn't been as noticeable. There were 43,000 riders on weekdays in March 2009 compared to 46,000 in May 2008.