When there’s a big event in town, UTA employees work together to ensure our riders can get to the game, concert, parade or festival – and home again – as quickly and easily as possible. On Saturday, July 28, more than 35,000 people visited Rice Eccles Stadium for the LoveLoud Festival. Many of them opted to ride UTA to take advantage of our fare promotion (UTA fare was free with a LoveLoud concert ticket) and avoid searching for a place to park near the stadium.
Early estimates show that we transported 9,000 more riders than usual on Saturday.1 Here’s a little look at what went on behind the scenes to get thousands of riders to and from LoveLoud.
A representative from the University of Utah contacted UTA service planners in early July to inform them of the LoveLoud Festival. After gathering the details, planners began to estimate how much service would be needed to transport concertgoers to the event. They had to take into consideration multiple factors, including other events happening in town – Vivint Arena was hosting Shania Twain that evening – the time the event was expected start and end, weather and anything else that might impact ridership.
On the day of the show, TRAX personnel were stationed at platforms to assist passengers and answer questions about traveling to the stadium. Transit police officers helped riders board safely and passed out water bottles as concertgoers transferred from FrontRunner to TRAX at Murray Central Station. TRAX service was also increased significantly to accommodate the crowds. On a normal Saturday, two-car trains are used on the Red Line, but for this event, four-car trains were used to get riders to Rice Eccles. Five extra four-car TRAX trains were also brought into service for the event.
After the concert wrapped up at 11:30 p.m., UTA extended TRAX and FrontRunner service past the usual ending time to provide riders with transportation home. LoveLoud ended much later than anticipated, and UTA employees worked hard to run late service on short notice.
“The festival ended later than we had anticipated – after regular TRAX service was ending for the night,” said UTA Rail Service and Operations Senior Planner Dave Steadman. “TRAX and FrontRunner operations took extra steps to make sure that every passenger who rode UTA trains to the festival had a ride back to their destination stations after the festival ended.”
UTA personnel manned the University of Utah roundabout and 500 South TRAX crossings to help keep vehicle, train and pedestrian traffic flowing smoothly. TRAX and FrontRunner Control rooms kept in close contact to ensure that riders on TRAX trains were able to board the last FrontRunner trains of the evening before the trains departed North Temple and Salt Lake Central Stations. FrontRunner hosts were even on hand to pass out granola bars and water to patient riders as the trains waited for up to 40 minutes for all the TRAX riders to board.
“We always do our best to coordinate with our counterparts at TRAX to ensure our passengers have a ride home after special events,” said UTA Acting Manager of FrontRunner Operations Zachary Thomas. “If one of our customers rode the train to an event, we want to do our best to make sure they have a ride home after the event is over.”
We’d like to thank everyone who rode UTA to LoveLoud on Saturday and all the UTA employees who stayed up late to get riders home from the show. If you have a question about UTA service to an event, please ask us on Twitter or Facebook