Transportation emissions are responsible for nearly 50% of the pollutants that make up our poor air quality. These pollutants become a serious concern during the winter months when normal atmospheric conditions (cool air above, warm air below) become inverted. This allows the air quality in the valley to become filled with particles that can quickly become unhealthy.
While there is much work being done to reduce those emissions (better transit, cleaner vehicles, more active transportation), the fact is– we can and should all help. We can each be a #CleanAirChampion.
There are many ways to participate! They all help the air and give you points in the Challenge:
- Ride the bus or train
- Bike or walk to work
- Link your errands together when you are driving (aka “trip chain”)
- Skip the trip by working from home or saving that errand for later
It all adds up!
The Utah Division of Air Quality estimates that if every driver along the Wasatch Front were to give up driving for just one day per week, it would keep 6,500 tons of emissions (or 85 times the weight of the International Space Station) out of our airshed.
Monday, September 29, 2014
The Hive Pass pilot program, an innovative and experimental transit pass idea–the first of its kind in the country–will conclude the initial phase of study and sales on Tuesday, Sept. 30 and move into an analysis and evaluation period. The Hive Pass allowed Salt Lake City residents to purchase an annual transit pass at a significant discount.
Hive Passes will remain on sale through Tuesday at three locations in Salt Lake City. Visit http://www.ridewithhive.com for details. Residency verification is required.
Mayor Becker originally proposed this unique idea to UTA as part of his Administration’s ongoing work to mitigate air quality issues by addressing the largest contributor to dirty air–vehicle emissions. The program also sought to provide better access specifically for lower income residents by making a monthly payment plan available and by initiating a voucher program to invite broader participation from a variety of organizations. Some 100 passes were distributed to residents in need through the voucher program.
The pilot program was also geared to evaluate if, by making transit more equitable, accessible and convenient, rider habits could be positively impacted. According to the results of a survey administered to residents who purchased Hive passes, significant changes occurred. Survey results show that:
- Among those who responded to the survey, over 90 percent of Hive Pass users were satisfied with their purchase
- Among respondents, 44 percent said they now use transit every day and only 23 percent had used transit every day before the Hive Pass
- A similar increase was seen among residents who went from being infrequent users to regular users
- Thirty-seven percent said they began using public transportation because of the Hive Pass
A complete copy of the survey results can be found here: http://www.ridewithhive.com/survey.pdf
Per the terms of the agreement between the City and UTA, the two agencies will now enter into an evaluation period in which both entities will work together to process all of the information collected during the pilot, evaluate the pilot and make recommendations about how to apply what’s been learned from the experiment going forward. While regular Hive Passes will not be available during this evaluation, the voucher program will continue.
Salt Lake City Council members on Thursday officially accepted a challenge from Mayor Ralph Becker to compete in a two-month competition to see which of the representatives could sell the most Hive Passes-the City’s new, resident transit pass.
The City’s seven Council members, and the residents in their districts, will vie to sell as many of the newly available resident transit passes as they can from April 3-June 1, with the winning district and Council member in line for bragging rights, the pride of making an impact on air quality issues and a fabulous prize package that includes tickets for Hive Pass holders in the winning district to an upcoming Salt Lake Bees game.
“Council Members are excited to help build the buzz about the Hive,” said Salt Lake City Council Chairman Charlie Luke. “The competition among Council Districts is a great way to remind people the eco-friendly mass transit pass is now available. Of course, the free Bees tickets for the winning District with the most sales doesn’t hurt the competitive spirit either.”
The new Hive Pass is a pilot program created through a partnership between Salt Lake City and UTA that is initially only be available to Salt Lake City residents. The one-year 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.
“We’ve already seen over 1,000 people in our community take advantage of this great new program,” said Mayor Becker. “We’re excited to see which district will ‘bring it’ and work to put a Hive Pass in every one of their neighbors’ pockets. I know we can count on our Council members to find very creative ways to get passes sold in their districts.”
For more information on the Hive Pass visit RidewithHive.com
Photo Credit: Ben Bolte
Recently, The Atlantic Cities profiled Salt Lake City’s Transportation Director, Robin Hutcheson, shining a light on the woman who has been leading our city’s transportation revolution over the last few years.
Here’s an except from the article. We recommend heading over to The Atlantic Cities article ASAP.
SALT LAKE CITY—Here are a few things to know about Robin Hutcheson. She’s a Connecticut native who came to Utah in 1994 for the skiing, and except for a few years in Europe, has lived here ever since. Since 2011, she’s been head of the transportation planning division of Salt Lake City, the state’s capital and biggest metropolis, often commuting by bike, at other times running one way and taking public transit on the return trip. Also, as you have noted by now, she is a woman.
That last part shouldn’t be a big deal. And most of the time, it isn’t. Every now and then, though, as the 43-year-old Hutcheson has climbed the ranks of her chosen profession, she gets a reminder: being a woman in a leadership position in American transportation is not the norm.
Read the full article on The Atlantic Cities.