Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker gathered with community leaders late last week to unveil a new proposed program geared towards clearing the air. The program would offer discounted UTA passes to Salt Lake City residents for just $30 a month — a 63% discount!
We all know that vehicle emissions are a key factor in the poor air quality that plagues our valley during the winter months. The good news is that getting people out of their cars and on to public transportation can go a long way to help reduce emissions and clear the air. This exciting program – the first of its kind in Utah – could make it possible for most city residents to have a UTA pass in their pocket!
Here are the details on the proposed program.
Purpose: Offer an annual transit pass to Salt Lake City residents to incentivize transit use and make riding transit more affordable.
Basic Structure: Salt Lake City residents will be eligible to purchase a one year transit pass for $360. The passes will be available for purchase from Salt Lake City upon providing proof of residency. Residents may pay all at once, or pay in 12 installments of $30 via a monthly bill.
The pass will be issued with the resident’s photo on it, and is non-transferable. There is no limit per household. The pass will be good on local and express bus, TRAX, and FrontRunner. Ski bus, Park City Connect and paratransit services will be excluded from the pass.
The program is a unique partnership between UTA and Salt Lake City. While modeled after other bulk pass programs offered by UTA for employees of eligible organizations, it’s the first pass of its kind to be designed for residents.
Benefits: In just 12 local trips per month (6 round-trips), residents who opt in to the pass will have broken even on their investment. Having a ‘pass in pocket’, residents are more likely to use transit.
Timeframe: The program will launch in early 2014. This pass is being implemented as a one-year pilot program. If successful, UTA and SLC may choose to continue the program. The program will be refined as needed and made available to other communities.
Basis: UTA completed a random sample telephone survey to assess interest in purchasing this pass. Based on results of the survey, up to 6,000 passes could be sold.
Next Steps: To make this program a reality, work to be completed over the next few months includes:
- Funding allocated from Salt Lake City Council (Pending decision)
- Set join goals between UTA/SLC to define goals and positive outcomes
- Set up administrative systems
- Determine tracking mechanisms
- Marketing and public information
- Materials preparation (passes, etc..)
- Back-office functions for both UTA and SLC accounting procedures