OGDEN -- Beginning this week, Utah Transit Authority will implement multiple changes to its transit system, but unlike some past years, these changes are mostly good ones.
This time around, there won't be any fare increases, dramatic cuts in service or major digressions of long-standing routes. In fact, this year it's just the opposite, with most changes on UTA's schedule resulting in increased service and better connections.
For rail users, FrontRunner will now begin to offer hourly service on Saturdays. UTA had been offering the commuter rail service only every 90 minutes on Saturdays. Departure times for FrontRunner will also be changed to match weekday times.
Weber State University students will be able to reach campus faster using the new Ogden Fast Bus service. Route 650 will travel between the Ogden Transit Center and WSU with minimal stops, reducing overcrowding on other bus routes and helping students reach campus 10 minutes faster than they would using local buses.
The route will run every 30 minutes during Weber State's fall and spring semesters. WSU's fall semester starts Monday.
In Weber and Davis counties, Route 473 will make another morning southbound trip to help reduce crowding and assist residents who commute to the University of Utah.
Accessing Salt Lake City International Airport will be more convenient too, with TRAX trips to the airport being shortened by three minutes.
While most of the news is good, there will be some cuts in service for the Top of Utah.
Route 613 will no longer serve Business Depot Ogden, and weekday service on Route 667, the Lagoon shuttle, will end this Friday -- though UTA will provide weekday service on Oct. 17 and 18 for UEA school break.
Weekend service for the Lagoon shuttle will end Oct. 27.
UTA Chief Operating Officer Jerry Benson said many of the changes are a direct result of public feedback.
"We've been listening to our customers about how they use the system, destinations they'd like added and how they use bus and rail together," Benson said. "We're turning our attention to improving service for our customers with shorter travel times and better transfer connections."
Benson said he hopes the changes encourage residents to choose public transit as they travel along the Wasatch Front.
"I encourage people to get out and try our new transit system," he said. "Take transit to a football game; try it to work one day a week; take your bike on FrontRunner."
For a full list of changes, along with detailed schedules, visit www.rideuta.com.
BEGINNING THIS WEEK ...
Utah Transit Authority bus and FrontRunner changes begin this week and next week:
* Bus Route 650: New fast-bus service between Ogden Transit Center and Weber State University. Starts Aug. 26.
* Bus Route 613: One weekday trip added. Route no longer serves Business Depot Ogden.
* Bus Routes 455, 470, 473, 625: All will have schedules adjusted for reliability.
* Bus Route 640: Schedule will be adjusted for reliability and to meet FrontRunner trains.
* Bus Route 604: Route and schedule changed. Route services 4400 South 2175 West in Roy.
* Bus Route 667, the Lagoon shuttle: Weekday service ends Aug. 23. UTA will provide weekday service Oct. 17 and 18 for UEA school break. Weekend service runs until Oct. 27.
* Bus Routes 603 and 612: Schedule adjusted to meet southbound FrontRunner trains at Ogden FrontRunner station between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.
* FrontRunner: Saturday frequency increased to hourly service, and times changed to match weekday times.
For detailed route information, visit www.rideuta.com.