Yesterday I reported on a Deseret News poll on the expansion of commuter rail along the Wasatch Front.
Seems the D-News is continuing its poll reportings in today’s news a poll that indicates that
Utahns will back a UTA fare hike, due to the high cost of fuel. Participants indicated they would support a temporary rate hike beginning in 2006.
Most of the ridership of UTA consists of people earning less than $25,000/year. If implemented, the surcharge would not apply to seniors, the low-income or disabled riders. UTA is projecting a fuel cost in 2006 of $6 million.
The problem with any kind of rate hike that claims to not be charged to low-income riders is now to identify and them exempt them. UTA, to date, has no plan for that. Therefore, a rate hike would still negatively impact the poor.
I have written on this blog in previous posts that Utah has a budget surplus. It seems to me that mass transportation could be one program in need of some of those extra funds.