Free fares on all Utah Transit Authority operations Thursday and Friday | News, Sports, Jobs





Evan Cobb, Daily Herald file photo

A northbound FrontRunner train is pictured Wednesday, September 26, 2018 in Provo.

The wheels of the bus continue to run at the Utah Transit Authority, but now the people who ride will get a financial reprieve and keep the air clean at the same time as the UTA is hosting Free Clean Air Fare Days this Thursday and Friday.

The fare will be free on all UTA bus and rail services, including Bus, TRAX, FrontRunner, S-Line Streetcar, Paratransit, Park City-SLC Connect and UTA On Demand.

“The free days we’ve had during this program have been very successful,” said Carlton Christensen, Chairman of the UTA Board of Trustees. “We look forward to building on this success and raising public awareness of how they can help improve air quality by using public transport. »

The first Free Fair for Clean Air days were held August 12-13, 2021 and resulted in a 5% increase in bus ridership and a 12% increase in FrontRunner ridership. New riders accounted for over 19% of trips taken and 70% of survey respondents said they did not use a vehicle to get to public transit. The next free days were on December 21 and 22, 2021, before UTA celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 2002 Winter Olympics by offering the February free fare where, according to UTA data, the traffic has increased.

It seems from the data that more people will use public transport when it is free.

Evan Cobb, Daily Herald file photo

Students board a Utah Valley Express bus at Utah Valley University Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Orem.

For many riders in Utah County, at least one of the bus routes is always free. The UVX route that connects the Provo Towne Center mall near Brigham Young University, west on University Parkway, around the University of Utah Valley, and west of I-15 to at the FrontRunner intermodal hub is free. Although already free, more runners climbed aboard the 12-mile route in February.

The air quality advantage increased significantly in February – up to 67% according to UTA’s analysis.

The Free Fare for Clean Air program is part of a science-based effort to improve air quality along the Wasatch Front by helping to encourage more people to consider using public transport as an alternative to driving, according to a UTA press release.

“Summer ozone pollution is not something we can see as our winter inversions, but over the past few years some of our worst air quality days have been during the winter months. summer,” said Kim Shelley, executive director of the Department of Environmental Quality. “Vehicles are the biggest contributor to Utah’s air quality issues along the Wasatch Front. We’ve seen that when we remove barriers to using public transit, people will make the choice which reduces pollution and improves the quality of life all around.

The decision to declare free days is coordinated between UTA and DEQ based on science and health risks, according to UTA information.

The Air Quality Division continuously monitors Utah’s airshed to identify when ozone and particulate levels are unhealthy. When unhealthy pollution levels are predicted, the Division calls for a mandatory day of action, which outlines critical times when Utahans should avoid high-emitting activities.

“The Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah is thrilled to continue to partner with Free Fare for Clean Air Days,” said Lexi Tuddenham, Executive Director of HEAL Utah. “This program has helped collect crucial data that our policy makers can use to create comprehensive policy solutions to mitigate air pollution and promote smart growth on the Wasatch front.”

The Free Clean Air Rate is achieved through a partnership with the Utah State Legislature, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Utah Clean Air Partnership, and Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah.

For more information on the Clean Air Free Fare, please visit http://rideuta.com/freefare.



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