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Ride the Bus, Clear the Air, Take the Survey!

The Clear the Air Challenge is a little more than halfway over. This month, we’ve been inspired to see more of our friends and colleagues carpooling, walking, biking, and taking public transit to get around Salt Lake City.

Transportation emissions cause nearly 50% of the pollutants that become trapped in our airshed during inversions, so finding ways to get out of the car makes a difference!

That also why Salt Lake City continues to invest in programs that make using transit easier and more affordable for residents.

Have you heard of the Frequent Transit Network?

In 2018, the City passed a sales tax and bond initiative called Funding our Future, with the goal of increasing funding to support public safety, street repair, better transit service, and greater housing opportunities.

A robust transit system is the backbone of a thriving community. It also supports the city’s goal of curbing carbon emissions and clearing the air, so we are grateful that Salt Lake City voters supported it!

After significant public outreach, the first phase of the transit expansion began in August 2019.

Three east-west UTA bus routes were enhanced to provide more transit, for more people, with more convenience and reliability.

What does “Frequent Transit Network” mean?

Very simply, it means buses that run every 15 minutes during peak times, with early-morning, later-night, and Sunday service. That means you can rely on these lines to get you where you need to go, on your schedule.

Critically, these lines also offer key east-west connectivity, which is an enhancement to the Salt Lake City transportation network. These routes are the 2, 9, and 21 routes.

Graphic describing the Frequent Transit Network. Text reads "For the first time, Salt Lake City has launched a Frequent Transit Network. 200 South Route 2, 900 South Route 9, 2100 South Route 21." The graphic includes an illustration of a UTA bus.

Routes 2 (200 S), 9 (900 S), and 21 (2100 S) now provide: 

• 15-minute or better frequency from 6 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday

• Seven-day-a-week service

• Sunday, early morning, and late night service at 30-minute frequency

• Direct east-west connections

• Quick, easy connections to all UTA services

One of the key ways to reduce pollution is to reduce “cold starts.” Taking the bus can help you do that.

We’d also like encourage you to take the Frequent Transit Network survey. You’ll help improve the service and will even have a chance to help brand the Network!

So far the ridership results have been promising. Check out this graphic on the increase on weekday ridership on the expanded bus routes. The vertical green line indicates when the enhanced Frequent Transit Network service began.

Weekday ridership graph on the 2, 9, and 21 bus routes. Courtesy of the Salt Lake City Transportation Division.

Public Transit Is Easier Than Ever

Salt Lake City’s Transportation Division is continuing to make improvements to the transit system. The Salt Lake City Transit Mater Plan is designed to help make public transportation even more accessible. With the three new Frequent Transit Network routes in place, getting from point A to point B is faster than ever. In Salt Lake City, residents are also eligible for the HIVE Pass, a discounted transit pass, which includes UTA buses, TRAX, and now, the GREENbikes!

Try out the 2, 9 or 21 routes, or other frequent routes in the UTA system such as Route 200, 205, or 209 to help Clear the Air. Then let us know what you think and how we can improve!

Learn more about the Frequent Transit Network in this video!

Clear the Air All Year

What has surprised you about the Clear the Air Challenge this year? Maybe you’ve found a new way to get to work or school. Maybe you’ve made a new friend on the bus. We’re grateful for everyone who has participated to help keep the air clear!

Currently, Salt Lake City employees have saved over 11 tons of carbon emissions this month. But our efforts to clear the air don’t have to stop at the end of February.

Along with Salt Lake City’s efforts to make public transit more accessible, the City continues to work towards reducing air pollution by improving electric vehicle infrastructure, encouraging the Idle Free Ordinance, and working to improve energy efficiency in buildings.

Don’t forget to take the Frequent Transit Network Survey, and good luck in the final week of the Clear the Air Challenge!

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