First, we had horse-drawn buggies. Barns and carriage houses dotted the Wasatch Front (there are still a few left). Then came cabs to pick folks up from train stations and airports, and buses to carry folks throughout the state and beyond. For years, Yellow Cab held a monopoly on picking up passengers at Salt Lake City International Airport. Then came Uber and Lyft. Now, downtown SLC has witnessed bike-taxis, plus Lime and Bird e-scooters pop up in abundance.
When I attended Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, the only way in and out without a car was by Greyhound. I hated those bus trips. They were long and smelly, and often, the bus was full of "Chester the Molester" characters. The drivers seemed to go out of their way to find towns to stop in and passengers to pick up during the middle of the night.
And today, there's FlixBus. I'm unclear on how this company makes money, but hey, let's try it! This European firm came to the U.S. last year and now has entered the Utah people-moving market, offering super-cheap fares to SLC, Provo, Cedar City and St. George. From now through Friday, May 3, you can get a one-way ride on their buses for $4.99 plus a $2 fee, and roundtrip is less than $10. If you want to go debauch in Las Vegas, the bus drops you off on the Strip in front of Caesars Palace. A bonus is that the seats are big, and there's free Wi-Fi, TV shows, movies and even audiobooks available for the whole trip. The initial get-you-hooked fares go up to just under $20 after May 3—still a steal.
One last transportation update: The behemoth-to-be International Center at North Temple and 5600 West will soon be the main UTA bus hub to take riders south to the existing Trax station on the Old Bingham Highway. A planned Trax extension at Herriman Towne Center will extend the westide route farther south. UTA and UDOT are asking for public comments on the idea of building an express bus service along the growing westside Mountain View Corridor. (A rapid transit bus route was originally proposed.) You can see the route at udot.utah.gov/mountainview and make email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call 1-800-596-2556. Trust me, with the new mega-airport nearing completion next year and the new state prison and inland port coming our way, 5600 West is going to be a transportation corridor like Utah has never seen.