Salt Lake City Suffers Streetcar Setback

After more than a decade of rail successes, the city that leads the nation in per-capita transit spending has experienced a transit setback. Early data for Salt Lake City's first streetcar line indicates much lower-than-expected ridership.

"The federal government expected 3,000 people a day to ride the new Sugar House Streetcar when it opened, according to a statement it issued in 2010 to announce a $26 million grant for the project," reports Lee Davidson. "But the average during its opening week was just 781 riders daily — a mere 26 percent of what had been projected, according to Utah Transit Authority data requested by The Salt Lake Tribune."

"Despite the initially low numbers, [UTA spokesman Remi] Barron said, 'UTA feels that the launch of this streetcar was a success and the people in Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake City have already embraced the S-Line.'"

He added, "As residential and commercial developments are completed, and as the weather improves and people are able to walk around the area more comfortably, we expect ridership to increase." 

Full Story: New streetcar attracts a fraction of expected ridership

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