Americans are using public transit more than ever. And Utahns are part of that trend.
A new report says Americans took a record 10.7 billion trips last year on public transportation. The Utah Transit Agency has seen a similar trend. Its trains, buses and trolleys logged 44 million trips last year -- more than ever before.
American Fork resident Greg Davidson rides the new FrontRunner line from where he lives in Utah County into Salt Lake City a few times a month. Today he’s headed to the airport on the new TRAX line.
The Utah House passed a bill Friday to allow communities to raise local sales tax rates to pay for transit projects. Supporters say it would help clean up Utah’s air.
Utah’s clean air advocates like the Quarter for Clean Air bill. So do local communities that would like revenue to put more buses on the road and expand service hours. Justin Jones is communications director for the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. He says Utah’s business sees it as an important keep Utah growing wisely.
Utah Transit Authority fare increases took effect today; much to the chagrin of riders. It was the last in a series of increases UTA approved in 2011.
There are few certainties in life. But one thing is clear; no one likes to see prices go up. Mia Mora uses public transportation a few days a week. She says the 15 cent hike won’t price her out of a commute.
“As long as it doesn’t get any higher than that," she says. "But if they keep raising it….”
Mora says she already struggles to afford a day pass or multiple transfers.
The Utah Foundation’s annual meeting Thursday deals with two traditionally conflicting issues facing Utahns, education and transportation. The foundation organizes the Utah Priorities Project along with the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. Stephen Kroes , the president of the Utah Foundation says conflicts between education and transportation going forward need to end.
Utahns are well-acquainted with the dirty air lurking beyond their front doors in a winter inversion or summer ozone day. A long string of unhealthy air days this winter has many residents saying "enough". Today KUER News and RadioWest begin “Clearing the Air,” a special series aimed at exploring the problem of Utah’s poor air quality and ways to improve it. One of the contributing factors is car emissions, but is public transit a viable option for those living on the Wasatch Front? Can people use their cars less without compromising their lifestyle?