(Photo Credit: Al Hartmann/The Salt Lake Tribune)
"Typically, the first three days of back to school are always a little crazy," [UTA spokeswoman Carrie] Bohnsack-Ware said, "until people find the schedule that works best for them and people settle into their routines."During my three years at the U. I never bought a parking pass and drove near campus maybe a half dozen times. Parking is horrific, the passes are going up 20 percent a year, the TRAX/Bus passes are free, and gas is expensive. Plus getting into a really hot or cold car sucks. Unless you live out of range of public transit, why wouldn't you take FrontRunner or TRAX or a bus or car pool?
This year, though, the [University of Utah ("the U.")] is trying to boost the ranks of students riding buses and trains with the passes they can get after paying tuition and fees. The school is expecting a surge, thanks to the run-up in gasoline prices and the first increase in campus parking fees in seven years.
Daily campus ridership could reach as high as 16,000 this year, but officials need to complete parking surveys and obtain UTA ridership figures before reaching any conclusions.
"We anticipate an increase of 15 to 20 percent," said Norm Chambers, the U.'s vice president for auxiliary services. "Right now it's more an intuition until we get some more data."