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 pollutantsthatbecome 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.
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.
Routes 2 (200 S), 9 (900 S), and 21 (2100 S) now provide:
Winter is coming. And along with it, inversion season. As temperature and pressure changes trap pollutants in the Salt Lake Valley, it is an important time to recommit to reducing our impact.
Air pollution in general is extremely costly in terms of public health and our economy. In the U.S., we spend $131 billion in air quality-related damages each year. The costs to our well-being are enormous. Bad air is linked to asthma, pneumonia, pregnancy loss, and premature death.
Luckily, expansions to our public transportation infrastructure are making it even easier to leave your car at home and help clear the air.
Public Transit Expansions
One way to avoid driving is to make use of public transit.
The bus route expansions are among several enhancements made possible through the Funding our Futures income (comprised of a sales tax increase, passed by the City Council, and a bond, approved by Salt Lake City voters, in 2018.)
What was once a dream of Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker became a reality today with the launch of the GREENbike program – Utah’s first bike share system.
Ten stations are now up and running with 100 bikes available in downtown Salt Lake. Another station is on the way, and plans to expand the program are already in the works. The University of Utah, 9th and 9th and Sugar House neighborhoods are all potential areas where GREENbike could appear.
Next Monday, April 8th the highly anticipated bike share program lands in Salt Lake City! GREENbike stations officially go online in less than a week, and we wanted to give our readers a preview of the program so you can be as excited as we are.
Program will launch with up to 120 bikes available
10 bike share stations are located at key spots in downtown Salt Lake City (see map below)
Projected to save 77,000 vehicle miles in the first year alone, including 20,000 “cold starts” (a key contributor to poor air quality)
Designed for short trips in the city by people wearing regular clothes and carrying ordinary stuff (no spandex required!)
There is a great mobile app available for download at the GREENbikeslc.org website (i.e. Spotcycle).
GREENbike is designed for short, 30 minute trips that get you from point A to point B downtown. Think of it as your “puddle jumper” that will get you from one downtown hot spot to another. For example —
Take a quick and direct route from the UTA Intermodal Hub to Gallivan Center or Library Square.
A quick lunch trip for downtown employees (stopping by Squatters, Harmons Grocery or a variety of other restaurants)
Getting to and from a downtown meeting.
Hopping from City Creek to The Gateway on a downtown shopping spree.
And any other short, downtown trip that you can dream up!
A 24-hour Access Pass ($5), 7-day ($15) or Annual Membership ($75) lets you take UNLIMITED 30 minute trips at no extra charge! Every time you dock a bike, you get a fresh 30 minutes. Get on board.
Launch & Party
The public is invited to attend the official GREENbike launch on Monday, April 8th at 10:30 a.m. at the west entrance to Gallivan Center. Join Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City Council Member and R.D.A. Chair Stan Penfold and other excited community members. SLCGreen will be there to cover the event too!
A fundraising launch party is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Squatters. Tickets are $50, and include all things needed for a very fun night — DJ, open bar, appetizers and a prize drawing for a $1,100 TREK bike at 8 p.m. Join the fun.
SLCGreen received this notice from our good friends at GREENbike, the bike share system opening this April in Downtown SLC! Read on for a great opportunity to get involved, and also check out their Facebook page. They are revealing the locations of each bike share station via social media!
GREENbike, SLC Bike Share is looking for bike build volunteers
The bikes for GREENbike, SLC Bike Share will be arriving in Utah shortly and we need some volunteers to help get them up and running. There will be a week-long bike build and we need quite a few volunteers to help with different tasks. We are in need of bicycle mechanics, people to help unpack the bikes, people to apply bike decals, and general volunteers to keep things moving.
The build shifts start on Tuesday, March 12th and will run until all of the bikes are built (Ideally, we want to be done by the end of Saturday, March 16th, but we would love to finish earlier in the week). There are three shifts available each day (8 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.) and there will be a mandatory training on Monday, March 11th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for all interested Bicycle mechanics. The necessary tools will be provided for all of the volunteer responsibilities. In order to maximize our build time, please only sign up if you will for sure be able to make the shift(s).
The build will take place in a warehouse so please wear clothing that can get dirty and a layer to keep you warm. All volunteers should be at least 18 years of age. Sorry, but given the setting and the nature of the work, children are not allowed.
If you are interested in volunteering e-mail email@example.com and put the phrase “Bike Build Volunteer” as the subject line. Let us know which day(s) and shift(s) you would like as well as with which task you can help. We will send out location information once you are confirmed on our schedule.
Salt Lake City has declared 2013 the “Year of the Bike” to recognize and promote the many bicycle events, programs, and infrastructure projects happening in the Salt Lake region in the coming year.
We caught up with Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City Councilman Stan Penfold, UTA General Manager Mike Allegra, UDOT Deputy Director Carlos Braceras and several other community leaders at the Year of the Bike kick-off event to hear about what’s in store.
At the event, UTA shared two exciting announcements – buses will now have bike racks that accept three bikes at a time (expanded from two) and bike hooks will be added to TRAX trains across the valley!