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Posts tagged ‘public transit’

UTA HIVE: Trax, Buses, and S-line Streetcar for $42/mo.


by Colin Green

Another summer has come and gone, can you believe it? The days are getting shorter and the fall equinox is right around the corner. Crisp morning air greets us as we step outside, sending kids off to school and beginning our morning commutes.

Autumn is a time of fresh starts and new routines. This transition is a great time to build positive habits that will carry smoothly into the busy year ahead.

We’d like to encourage you to consider integrating a lower emission commute into your routine this fall.

Around the globe, urban transit is the single greatest source of transportation related emissions and it’s growing. By riding public transit, even a few days a week, you can do your part to reduce emissions.

Driving alone in your vehicle is also a major source of local air pollution. Did you know that over 50% of Salt Lake City’s air pollution comes from transportation?  By building public transit into your routine, you can make a difference on a local and global level.

The Hive Pass can help you do that! This Salt Lake City subsidized program, which launched several years ago, offers City residents half off the monthly UTA pass!  Read more

Drive Less, Clear the Air & Win Prizes this July


The 2014 Challenge kicked off at the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, June 14.

Are you ready to help clear the air? The 2014 Clear the Air Challenge starts next week on Tuesday, July 1!

The month long Challenge is just that — an excellent way to challenge yourself to “drive down your miles” and reduce your emissions. Choose alternatives to driving alone and track your impact on air quality.

(And keep an eye on the leader board for the Salt Lake City Corporation network, which is SLCgreen’s home team!)

The Basics

  • The Clear the Air Challenge runs July 1-31, 2014.
  • Register at (registration details below).
  • Track the trips and miles you save by using alternatives to driving alone:
    • Active transportation (walk, bike) — Biking and walking, also known as active transportation, are gaining popularity as healthy, efficient and sustainable means of transportation.
    • Public transit — To put it simply, ride UTA!
    • Carpool — Carpooling involves more than one person traveling together in a car and can be used for many occasions including commuting to work, attending special events or taking kids to school, practices or recreational activities. This strategy requires some coordination of schedules, but can be easily implemented to achieve significant results.
    • Telework — Teleworking is possible from just about anywhere – from home, a telecenter, the local coffee shop or anywhere that has a wireless Internet connection. Teleworking can include conference calling or video conferencing for meetings instead of driving to an off-site location or working from a remote office.
    • Skip the trip — The skip the trip strategy is as easy as it sounds. Just plan ahead to avoid unnecessary trips. These can be trips taken for work or for home activities.
    • Learn more about these strategies at
  • Join a network, track your impact and compete for great prizes!


This year there is a new and greatly improved tracking tool for the Clear the Air Challenge. The new tool will require all users to re-register, but the registration process will only take about 30 seconds and users now have the ability to sign up using their Facebook profile.

During the registration process you will be asked to join a team/network, although it’s not required. If you do not see your team/network listed, please email with the following information:

  • Team/network name
  • Team/network admin name (the person on your team who will have admin rights)
  • Admin’s email
  • Team/network address
  • Team/network description (a little about who your team is- optional)


The Challenge has approximately $10,000 in prizes to give out this year to participants. A number of weekly prizes will be randomly given to people who have earned badges. Grand prizes will be given to the winners in various categories, including: most trips saved, most miles saved and overall champion. The Grand Prize for the overall individual champion will be a $1,300 pair of powder skis provided by Ramp Sports.

New technology

Here are some of the features of the new technology implemented this year:

  • Social media integration: Sign up with your Facebook account and share Clear the Air Challenge posts to your Timeline.
  • Easier tracking and recording of saved trips:
    • Set up favorite trips – Trips you take often can be easily added to your tracker dashboard
    • Multiple day trip recording – Forgot to track each time you took the TRAX over the past week? Simply click on each of the days you made the same trip and record them all at once!
  • Trip Planner: Not sure how you might use alternative transportation to get somewhere rather than your car? Simply enter in your starting and ending locations, and you’ll receive carpool, vanpool, transit, walking and biking options to get to your destination. Use this feature all year round whether you are tracking trips or not!


Salt Lake City’s Council Dist. 4 Reigns Supreme in Hive Pass Contest

Passes Are Another Way SLC Residents Can Help Clear the Air

For nearly two months, Salt Lake City Council members have been battling each other for bragging rights and district pride in a challenge posed by Mayor Ralph Becker in April to see who could put the most new Hive transit passes in the pockets of residents.

Well, the results are in and Councilman Luke Garrott’s Fightin’ Dist. 4 has emerged the victor. As promised, all Dist. 4 residents who purchased Hive Passes will be treated to a Salt Lake Bees game on June 18 (vs. the Memphis Redbirds) at 7:05 p.m. at Smith’s Ballpark.

“While our Dist. 4 residents get the prize, it’s truly the case that anyone who has already purchased a Hive Pass is a winner,” said Mayor Becker. “Not only does the discounted pass get you were you need to go, but using it is one of the best ways anyone can help make a positive impact on our air quality challenges.”

“I’m proud of the Dist. 4 folks who work at both reducing air emissions and recognizing a great transportation deal when they see one,” said Councilman Garrott.  “It’s a win for everybody in the Valley as the City supports a pass aimed at enhancing mass transit.”

The new Hive Pass is a pilot program created through a partnership between Salt Lake City and the Utah Transit Authority that is initially only available to Salt Lake City residents. The annual pass is good on all UTA TRAX, Frontrunner, bus and S-line Streetcar services and available for an up-front payment of $350 or for $360 in twelve monthly installments. The pass is good for one-year after its first use.

Dist. 4 Hive Pass purchasers can pick up their tickets (one per pass purchased) at the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office, Salt Lake City & County Building, 451 S. State Street, outside of Room 306. Tickets will be available weekdays beginning Thursday, June 12 through Tuesday, June 17 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. On game day, Wednesday, June 18, tickets can be picked up from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For questions, call 801-535-7704.

For more information on the Hive Pass visit:

Open Letter from Mayor Becker on Air Quality

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you may know, air quality has been a major focus of my work as mayor. My administration has been working on bringing greater attention to the issue and I’ve been advocating for aggressive, meaningful steps to that can be taken by Salt Lake City, state government, industry and individuals to help clean our air.

This is a complex problem and the only way we’re going to solve it is with a comprehensive solution. Let’s come together and fix this problem right away-we can’t wait, the time for talk is over, we need to take action.

Mayor Becker delivers his State of the City address on air quality to a packed house.

Mayor Becker delivers his State of the City address on air quality to a packed house.

During my recent State of the City Address on solving the air quality problem, I proposed key actions that must be taken in order to accomplish this goal.

With clean air as our goal, Salt Lake City has adopted anti-idling ordinances, more than doubled our bike lanes and introduced the City’s first solar farm. For the upcoming year, we are launching the City’s first-ever multiple transit pass and are creating an incentive program to phase out wood burning stoves.

In addition to what Salt Lake City is doing, I’ve also outlined what the state ought to do. Those actions should include:

  • Allocating More Money for Public Transit
    • Increased funding for public transit in Salt Lake City would allow for buses and trains to run more frequently. We must make it more affordable and accessible for individuals to drive less and ride more.
  • Making Lower Sulfur Gasoline a Requirement
    • Tier 3 gasoline has lower levels of sulfur and therefore helps decrease emissions. It is widely available to us but is not required. Mandating that it be required would provide an immediate impact on our air quality.
  • Requiring Buildings to Use Power Efficiently
    • Utah’s energy code standards date back to 2006, lagging far behind many national and international standards. Adopting an updated building code for energy efficiency would help reduce energy use and improve air quality.
  • Making the True Cost of Driving Transparent at the Pump
    • Gas prices have a significant impact on how much people drive their cars. Raising the gas tax would help pay for better roads while also encouraging less driving and improving air quality.
  • Allowing Utah to set Utah-specific air quality standards
    • Setting air quality standards tailored to Utah’s needs is imperative if we are to improve our air quality. Generic national conditions will not work in Utah, and we need to set air quality standards that will work for us.

These are real solutions that will not only produce tangible differences, but produce them quickly. We have received a great response from the community, and are looking to turn that response into results.

If the state is unable to do these things for any reason, I’ve asked that they grant local governments the ability to make these changes because we will get it done at the local level. Enough is enough.

There are 2 things that I would ask of you in order to help improve our air quality.

  1. Lobby your legislators — Ask them to support these measures that I am bringing up and consider the other proposals that will clean up our air.
  2. If they do not support these measures, ask your legislators to grant authority to the local level, so that we can take care of our own problems. We can get this done on the local level if the state can’t or won’t.

I would also implore you to work with your legislators, and not against them. To be effective and to make real change, we need to work together in a respectful and civil manner. While it is important to let your voice be heard, it is equally important to do so in a manner which conveys respect and encourages cooperation.

One of the most memorable moments of my State of the City speech was when a class of 4th graders from Whittier Elementary School took the stage and sang a song they wrote about the inversion and what needs to be done. Our children are, at the end of the day, the most important reason we must strive to clean our air and these kids said it better than anyone could. Watch the video.

There has been enough talk, and it is time for action. A change must be made, and it is up to each and every one of us to make that change.
I hope you will join me in the fight to help improve the air quality of Salt Lake City.

Warm Regards,

Ralph Becker
P.S. If you were unable to attend my State of the City address in person, the full text of the speech and some additional information about the issue can be found here.
Also the Salt Lake City Tribune ran a terrific op-ed that discusses the ideas I laid out in my air quality address and if you’re interested, you can read it here.

[VIDEO] Get Inspired to Clear the Air

‘Tis the season for New Years Resolutions.

While you’re revisiting resolutions to exercise, eat healthy and spend more time with those you love (a great way to start the new year!), consider making one more resolution — to help clear the air.

Through the winter Care to Clear the Air project (2010-2012), a series of videos captured the stories of residents making a resolution to limit their impact on air quality by driving less.

Watch the videos below to hear from people that have done everything from moving closer to where they work, to biking, carpooling and taking public transit.

Their stories will inspire you to make your own resolution to help clear the air!

Kyle LaMalfa shares his commitment to take public transit.

Read more

SmartTrips Rolls into SLC’s Fairpark Neighborhood


A new program has rolled into the Fairpark neighborhood, offering free transit passes, pedometers, bike lights and more in an effort to convince residents to leave their cars at home in favor of walking, biking or taking public transit.

“One of the biggest barriers to adopting alternative transportation is feeling confident and comfortable enough to navigate the change in lifestyle, and that’s where SmartTrips comes in,” says Sara Rose Tannenbaum, SmartTrips program manager.

The aim of SmartTrips, a free Salt Lake City Green Program, is to provide educational materials and incentives to residents so that they explore ways to commute, run errands or get exercise in Salt Lake City without a car.

All Fairpark residents are eligible to sign up for SmartTrips kits. The idea behind these kits is to empower residents with the knowledge they need to embrace existing biking, walking and public transportation options.

SmartTrips_IconBesides offering helpful Fairpark-specific maps, schedules and tips, kits include a free bike light, pedometer, and 7-day unlimited UTA Tap-on-Tap-off pass, and coupon book to local businesses. Residents may also request custom bike and transit commute routes, or step-by-step guides including details such as transfer points, bus frequency and desirable bike lanes.

The Smart Trips program was launched last year in the East Liberty Park neighborhood and showed a 26% decrease in miles and trips driven by car with an 18% increase in environmentally preferable trips. Success has been similarly achieved in neighborhoods in Oregon, and Tennessee, Washington, as well as in Australia.

“With over 40% of trips in the US less than 2 miles, and 68% of these trips are driven in cars, there is a lot of potential to make changes close to home,” says Tannenbaum. “Any reduction in the amount of drive-alone car trips, especially in the Salt Lake Valley, helps to alleviate our impact on air quality and protect the health of our community.”

SmartTrips collaborates with local organizations to coordinate events that celebrate community and public/active transportation. On May 12th SmartTrips hosted a group bike ride to the opening day of the People’s Market at the International Peace Gardens. Neighbors joined Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa, and representatives from the Day-Riverside Library, SmartTrips and local bike shop Saturday Cycles. Of the fifteen participants, 10 visited the People’s Market for the first time, and 8 traveled on stretches of the Jordan River Trail that were new to them.

bike ride

Next month, SmartTrips will join the Jordan River Commission when they host a weed pull to remove the infamous bike tire-popping goatheads on Saturday July 13th from 9-11 a.m. Though only Fairpark residents can sign up for SmartTrips kits, all are invited to attend the community events.

“By choosing alternative transportation we become closer to our community, our city, and the people, businesses and resources that are a part of it,” says Tannenbaum. “We don’t get to know our neighbors behind a steering wheel. We meet them in our community gardens, at a local business, a local park, or even in passing on the sidewalk. When we get out of our cars, and start walking or biking, we begin to discover our surroundings and neighborhood in a whole new way.”

Do you live in Fairpark? Sign up for SmartTrips when you receive a SmartTrips postcard in the mail or register online.

The Return of the Salt Lake Streetcar


Streetcars are making a comeback across the country, and Utah will soon join the movement. The first phase of the Sugar House Streetcar project is set to open December 2013, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome the first of what we hope will be several streetcar lines to Salt Lake City.

Well, we should say welcome back. Many years ago, Salt Lake City had an extensive streetcar network with lines stretching from Capitol Hill/The Avenues all the way into Sugar House.

Streetcar 101

It is easy to confuse the future streetcar with the TRAX system already in place. Streetcars move at much slower speeds, generally 7-12 miles per hour, while your average pedestrian travels at 3 miles per hour. Stations resemble covered bus stops and the rail lines are often integrated with existing roads.

One of Portland's popular streetcars.

One of Portland’s popular streetcars.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of the Sugar House Streetcar project is currently under construction and will run from the 2100 South TRAX station along Sugarmont Avenue, ending at McClelland (roughly 1050 East). This section of the streetcar line will open December 2013.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of the project will be the continuation of the streetcar line, which was the subject of an exhaustive study that considered land use, street amenities, housing and ridership.

The study was prepared over the course of 18 months, and recommends that the streetcar line extend from McClelland to Highland Drive along Sugarmont, and then head north to Monument Plaza and finally extend north on 1100 East to 1700 South to serve Westminster College. Both a technical analysis and community input were factored into this recommendation.

Also known as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), this plan draws the streetcar right into the heart of Sugar House and will further connect Westminster College as a community hub. Learn more about Phase 2.

Sugar House is coming back to life, thanks in part to the construction of the streetcar line, which helps spur local development and is a boon for the community.

Learn more

This is an exciting time for public transit in Salt Lake City. You can learn more about the Sugar House Streetcar project at

And if you are on Twitter, look for the #welove11th and #purplelineSLC hashtags to join the conversation!

Public Hearing

The Salt Lake City Council will be holding a public hearing on the future of the Sugar House Streetcar on Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. If you cannot attend, you can still weigh in on the Open City Hall online forum.