FortyFive Podcast Episode 4: Senator Mike Lee’s Gas Tax Proposal and Guest Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee

In episode 4 of the FortyFive politics podcast we talked about new legislation by Senator Mike Lee which would greatly reduce the federal gasoline tax. We also were joined by Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee who spoke to us about the history and future of Bus Rapid Transit in Utah County and some of the problems with it. We also briefly talked about term limits in Utah, Rick Santorum’s event with one attendee, Democrats growing impatience with Justin Miller, Attorney General Sean Reyes’ campaign donations, and Jerry Seinfeld’s comments that young people are…

How is UTA Doing By the Numbers?

One thing that I’ve been asked since my article on Wednesday on Bus Rapid Transit is how UTA is doing. There are news articles saying that their numbers are improving, but there is a higher taxpayer subsidy now than there used to be. At the bottom of the Legislative Audit there are some numbers that are instructive in illustrating how UTA is handling their stewardship: Measure 1: Revenue Passenger Miles (RPM) RPM is a standard metric that is used across mass transit, from public airlines to private transit authorities. By…

UTA’s Bus Rapid Transit proposal is an expensive, unnecessary boondoggle

Here we are at the start of summer, and the hottest topic in Utah County is whether or not we should run a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line from the Orem FrontRunner station, down University Parkway, around BYU, and down University Avenue to the Provo FrontRunner station. The more that I look at the topic, the more I doubt the benefits. Here are three reasons that we should stop and think about BRT before committing taxpayer dollars (from Utah or from the federal government) to this project. UTA has wildly…

How to Fix the UTA

Here in Utah County one of the biggest current debates is over whether we should put in a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line from the Orem FrontRunner station to the Provo FrontRunner station. While there are some who think that BRT has no place in Utah Valley, most agree that some kind of mass transit is not only inevitable, but also desirable. I tend to fall in the latter camp. I have been to cities all around the world that have amazing mass transit systems and they can make a…