Utah Transit Authority
Bus at the 5600 W Old Bingham Hwy TRAX station
|Headquarters||669 West 200 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84119-4122
|Locale||Wasatch Front, Utah
|Service area||Box Elder, Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, and Weber Counties|
|Service type||Intra- and inter-urban bus service; intra-urban light rail; inter-county commuter rail; and inter-urban streetcar|
|Routes||131 bus routes
3 light rail lines (TRAX)
1 commuter rail train (the FrontRunner)
1 bus rapid transit line (MAX)
1 streetcar (the S Line)
Ogden Transit Center
Salt Lake Central
West Valley Central
|Stations||50 (light rail)
16 (commuter rail)
24 (bus rapid transit)
7 (streetcar [stops])
146 light rail vehicles
63 commuter rail cars
|Daily ridership||169,400 (total daily boardings)
68,100 (TRAX & streetcar)
|Annual ridership||44,118,500 (total daily boardings)
18,740,600 (TRAX & streetcar)
|Website||rideuta.com official website|
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is the provider of public transportation throughout the Wasatch Front of Utah, in the United States, which includes the metropolitan areas of Ogden, Park City, Provo, Salt Lake City and Tooele. It operates fixed route buses, express buses, ski buses, three light rail lines (TRAX), a streetcar line (the S-Line), and a commuter rail train (FrontRunner) from Ogden through Salt Lake City to Provo. UTA is headquartered in Salt Lake City with operations and garages in locations throughout the Wasatch Front, including West Jordan, Ogden, and Orem. Light rail vehicles are stored and maintained at yards at another locations in South Salt Lake and Midvale. UTA’s commuter rail equipment is stored and serviced at a facility in Salt Lake City.
All of UTA's TRAX and FrontRunner trains and stations, as well as all fixed route buses, are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act and are therefore accessible to those with disabilities. In accordance with the Utah Clean Air Act and UTA ordinance, "smoking is prohibited on UTA vehicles as well as UTA bus stops, TRAX stations, and FrontRunner stations and all other UTA property."
- 1 History
- 2 Bus service
- 3 TRAX light rail
- 4 FrontRunner commuter rail
- 5 The S-Line
- 6 Rideshare
- 7 Change Day
- 8 Area of operations
- 9 Funding
- 10 Leadership and operation
- 11 FrontLines 2015
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The Utah Transit Authority traces its roots to 1953 when several bus companies united to form the organization. Ironically,[clarification needed] among the constitutive companies of the UTA was National City Lines, which bought out and decommissioned the trolleys from the Utah Light and Traction Company in the 1940s. The Traction company operated electric trolleys in Salt Lake City neighborhoods like the Avenues.
Bus service in the 1950s became unpopular with low gas prices and subsidized construction of highways like Interstate 15. By 1960 bus ridership was only about one third the level of war-time Salt Lake, and the average age of riders was 14.
In 1969, the Utah State Legislature passed the Utah Public Transit District Act, which allows individual communities to address transportation needs by forming local transit districts. The UTA was subsequently founded on March 3, 1970 when the cities of Sandy, Salt Lake City, and Murray voted to form a transit district. Service was extended to Weber and Davis counties in 1973 and to Utah County in 1985. Today, the UTA's service area is over 1,400 square miles (3,600 km2) and covers seven counties: Box Elder, Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, and Weber.
The UTA saw rapid expansion through the mid-1970s and 1980s. It strove to streamline the bus system and only in the 1970s connected the east and west sides of the Salt Lake Valley, with east–west routes along 2100 South, 3300 South/3500 South, and 4500 South/4700 South created in 1975. Four bus routes to Granger, Hunter (which today comprise West Valley City), Kearns, Magna, and Tooele were also created the same year. Sunday service on 25 routes began in 1975, only to be removed sometime before 1988. (Sunday service resumed in 2001.) In 1976 the UTA began offering ski service to Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, and Solitude ski resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. Today, the UTA offers seasonal buses to those four resorts, Snowbasin Resort and Powder Mountain in Weber County and Sundance Resort in Utah County.
Since 1970, the entire service area of the UTA has seen bus route redesigns, beginning with Utah County in 2000. Weber and Davis Counties saw an overhaul of their bus routing in 2002. The largest and most comprehensive change in routing occurred in August 2007 in Salt Lake County, with the goal of increasing ridership by twelve percent. Prior to 2007, night service had different numbering and routing than regular daytime service. After the redesign, nighttime routes were to retain the same routing and numbering as their daytime counterparts. Routes were consolidated as well, with 69 routes reduced to 60. Fifteen-minute service during weekday daytime hours was extended from two to 11 routes, and all other routes in the system had 30 service during weekday peak hours at the very least. "Fast buses," which connected suburbs to the city and charged the same fare as local buses (as opposed to express buses, which required a higher fare), were also introduced and expanded. The redesign proposal was met with criticism, with low-income advocacy groups claiming that the redesign focused too heavily on commuters rather than the disadvantaged. The route redesign achieved its intended goal—from 2007 to 2011, bus ridership in the entire system increased from 77,500 to 88,700, an increase of 18 percent.
Beginning in 2010, a decline in funding that the UTA was receiving from sales tax revenues resulted in service reductions. Fast bus trips were substantially reduced, with many fast bus routes being cut altogether. Saturday and night service saw cuts as well. The opening of two new TRAX extensions exacerbated bus route service cuts, especially in the western side of the valley; routes that previously traveled from the western suburbs to downtown would end at Green Line stations, with riders expected to complete the rest of their journeys via the Green Line. Also, there was no service on Memorial and Labor days for the first time in 2010. Service on those holidays was later restored, and as of 2016 UTA provides bus and rail service on most holidays with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. As UTA's rail expansion projects draw to a close and revenues increase, the agency has indicated that it will slowly begin restoring service in the near future.
Amidst the service cuts and rail expansions, the UTA struck a deal with Park City and Summit County to begin operating an express bus between Salt Lake City and Park City in October 2011. This express service is called PC-SLC Connect.
|October 2007||June 24, 2012|
|Night service past 10 pm||20||10|
|Fast bus routes||11||5|
UTA currently offers over 100 bus routes within its operational area. Most of these routes provide regular transportation throughout the day, while many are primarily commuter routes. Some are special services, such as ski routes that only operate seasonally. Occasionally, will also offer service for special events or extend service on certain days of the year, New Year's Eve, for example. UTA regularly modifies or changes its bus routes, but whenever reasonably possible (other than temporary detours) limits the adjustments to Change Days.
|1996||67,600||3.05%|| [Note 2]|
|1999||64,500||5.41%|| [Note 3]|
|2000||56,500||-6.81%|| [Note 4]|
|2001||82,000||2.82%|| [Note 5]|
|2003||79,700||0.03%|| [Note 6]|
|2008||89,000||5.24%|| [Note 7]|
|2011||80,400||1.32%|| [Note 8]|
|2012||76,900||-6.14%|| [Note 9]|
|2013||72,200||-8.38%|| [Note 10]|
MAX bus rapid transit
The UTA's first bus rapid transit (BRT) line (which are all referred to as MAX) runs along 3500 South in Salt Lake County, running from Magna through West Valley City to the Millcreek TRAX station. MAX is described by UTA as "light rail with rubber tires". MAX has service improvements that differ from regular bus service, such as signal priority, increased spacing between stops, high frequency service, and improved stops. For most sections of a MAX line, it has limited stops. In addition to the 3500 South MAX, several other BRT lines are in the planning stages, including ones in Provo-Orem, Ogden and Taylorsville. MAX routes are indicated by the letter "M" at the end of the route number (i.e., 35M).
UTA has about 15 bus routes that are allowed to deviate up to 3⁄4 mile (1.2 km) from their set route to pick up or drop off passengers. These "flexible" routes are called FLEX routes and are indicated by the letter "F" at the beginning of the route number (i.e., F618). FLEX routes combine the convenience of curb-to-curb service with regular fixed routes making it a viable option for many paratransit riders. Certain rules and restrictions apply to FLEX routes:
- Only two deviations are allowed per trip, however even with deviations routes maintain a schedule and never depart designated stops early.
- Riding FLEX routes cost the same as regular routes, however the cost for deviations is a dollar more (in addition to the regular fare).
- Deviations may be scheduled up to seven days in advance but not less than two hours prior to travel time and can be made by calling 801-BUS-RIDE (801-287-7433) between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Throughout its area of operation, UTA provides paratransit service in addition to its FLEX routes for qualifying disabled passengers that are unable to, either temporarily or permanently, utilized the other transportation services provided by UTA (including bus service, TRAX, the S-Line, and the FrontRunner). Although the cost to UTA for this service is substantial to UTA, the fare remains the same for passengers.
The fare is not same for Paratransit. Bus, TRAX. S-Line are $2.50 and a paper transfer, which is valid for 2.5 hrs, is issued. Fare of the paratransit is $4 and the paper transfer is not valid. UTA doesn't have a guide line about how long mentally/physically disabled people can be kept in a bus in an idle status. As a result, a complain is filed after sitting in a bus for more than 40 minutss on a grocery parking lot on July 29, 2016, but UTA doesn't have a plan to determine how long people with disabilities can be kept in a bus in an idle status.
During the winter ski season UTA offeres additional routes or increased frequency on existing routes for many of the major ski resorts along the Wasatch Front, including Alta, Brighton, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Solitude, and Sundance Resort. Most of these ski routes are operational on Christmas Day and, in fact, these routes are the only transportation offered by UTA that day. Fares for these routes may be higher that standard bus fare.
PC-SLC Connect (Park City-Salt Lake City Connect) is a cooperative effort between UTA, Park City, and Summit County, but is operated solely by UTA. (Within Park City and in some portions of Summit County, Park City Transit offers fare-free bus service.) PC-SLC Connect provides express commuter transportation between Salt Lake Valley, through Parleys Canyon to Park City and other areas of Summit County. PC-SLC Connect routes have limited stops within Salt Lake County. Due to the cooperative nature of the express service and the distances involved, the fares for PC-SLC Connect are nearly double the regular UTA bus fare. Furthermore, transfers from other UTA routes, as well as regular UTA bus passes are not accepted, however, UTA bus passes and valid transfers may be used to reduce the PC-SLC fare and UTA transfers can be issued upon boarding PC-SLC routes. Transfers between PC-SLC Connect and Park City Transit are not an issue because all transportation offered by Park City Transit is fare-free. Special passes for PC-SLC Connect can be purchased anywhere UTA passes are sold.
The following are the PC-SLC routes as of April 2013:
- UTA Route 901 (South Salt Lake, including Meadowbrook TRAX Station - Park City, including Kimball Junction, Canyons Transit Hub, Park City Mountain Resort, Park City Transit Center, and Dear Valley Resort)
Seasonal bus, ski season only
- UTA Route 902 (Salt Lake City, including Salt Lake Central and University Medical Center TRAX stations - Park City, including Jeremy Ranch, Canyons Transit Hub, Park City Mountaion Resort, Park City Transit Center, and Deer Valley Resort)
Seasonal bus with reduced service in non-ski season
UTA operates three transit centers which are open and staffed by customer service personnel during business hours (or extended business hours) Monday through Friday (except holidays). The first two are the Salt Lake Intermodal Hub (Salt Lake Central Station) and the Ogden Intermodal Transit Center, which are both served by the FrontRunner and inter-county and local bus service (as well as TRAX, in the case of Salt Lake Central). The third is the Timpanogas Transit Center, which is located at 1145 South 750 East in Orem (immediately east of the University Mall), and only offers local bus service. All other transportation hubs operated by UTA (including Central Pointe Station, Millcreek Station, Murray Central Station and the West Valley Intermodal Hub) are not staffed by customer service personnel. Future hubs will include the Orem Intermodal Center and the Provo Intermodal Center, but there are no plans to staff these two hubs either.
In addition to the transit centers, UTA offers customer service by telephone for extended business hours Monday through Saturday. In addition to English, assistance can usually be provided in the following languages: Chinese, French, Spanish, Tongan, and Vietnamese.
TRAX light rail
Population growth and accompanying congestion led to the study of the feasibility of light rail in the Salt Lake Valley in the early 1990s. A 1993 initiative to use tax revenues to purchase an underutilized rail corridor for potential light rail use was rejected by Salt Lake County voters. The County Commission opposed increasing taxes for light rail and even hired a lobbyist to this end. Nonetheless, the Utah Transit Authority moved forward and was able to make the purchase using other available funds.
UTA also lobbied for funding and in August 1995 won $240 million from the federal government as part of the budget for I-15 reconstruction. The light rail system was called Transit Express or, most commonly, TRAX. This federal grant amounted to over two-thirds the cost of the Blue Line to Sandy, and further bills would fund a second line to the University of Utah. Salt Lake City's successful bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics gave the light rail project some priority over transit projects in other cities competing for federal funds; Secretary of Transportation Federico Peña explained, "The Winter Olympics in Salt Lake are not just Salt Lake's Olympics. They are the nation's Olympics." Nonetheless, UTA's cost-effective light rail project merited the support of the Federal Transit Administration and would have been funded and constructed regardless of the Olympics.
TRAX became operational December 4, 1999 with an initial route of 17.3 miles (27.8 km)—the Blue Line, then simply dubbed the Sandy/Salt Lake Line—from Sandy to Downtown Salt Lake City. In celebration, UTA offered free rides on the new line all day, and local residents stood in long lines to be packed into the new light rail cars. The Blue Line was expanded in April 2008 to the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub (Salt Lake Central Station), and as part of UTA's FrontLines 2015 project, a three-station expansion of the line further south to Draper was completed.
Due to federal funding, the initial 2.3 miles (3.7 km) of the Red Line (or the University Line, as it was initially named), from downtown Salt Lake to the University of Utah, was operational by December 15, 2001—after 16 months of construction and well ahead of the original schedule. Construction was expedited to be completed before the 2002 Winter Olympics, to enable spectators to take TRAX to the opening ceremonies at Rice–Eccles Stadium. In light of heightened security in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, however, light rail service was suspended during the opening and closing ceremonies. Buses were used instead, and though also vulnerable, transported attendees without incident. An extension of 1.5 miles (2.4 km) further east to the University of Utah Medical Center was completed September 29, 2003, and an expansion of 10.6 miles (17.1 km) to South Jordan in the southwestern corner of the metropolitan area opened on August 7, 2011 with service to the Daybreak Community. At this same time TRAX lines began to be referred to by a color-coded name (rather than destinations) and the Red Line trains no longer traveled downtown, instead bypassing the city center and heading south and then southwest.
The success of TRAX led to the creation of a third line—the Green Line—which runs from the Airport Station at the Salt Lake International Airport through Downtown Salt Lake City to West Valley Central Station in West Valley City. This line also originally opened on August 7, 2011, and services 18 stations. The Airport extension of the Green Line, which added 6 new stations and provided rail service from Downtown Salt Lake City to the Salt Lake International Airport for the first time, opened for service on April 14, 2013.
FrontRunner commuter rail
In 2002, UTA announced a deal with Union Pacific to purchase a segment of track and right-of-way for a commuter rail line from Salt Lake City to Pleasant View, just northwest of Ogden. The new commuter train was named the FrontRunner in reference to the fact that it was intended to run up and down the Wasatch Front. Construction on the FrontRunner corridor began on August 10, 2005; seven stations opened running from Ogden to Salt Lake City on April 26, 2008. As part of the FrontLines 2015 project, the commuter rail corridor has been expanded south 44 miles (71 km) to Provo. Service began on the new southern extension on December 10, 2012. Future expansion is planned to extend the corridor north to Brigham City in Box Elder County, and south to Payson and then Santaquin, with the possibility of even extending as far south as Nephi in Juab County.
The S-Line (formerly known as Sugar House Streetcar) is a streetcar transit line that connects Sugar House (a neighborhood of Salt Lake City) with the neighboring city of South Salt Lake, as well as the UTA TRAX system. It is a joint project between UTA, Salt Lake City, and South Salt Lake. The S-Line runs along the old Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW) line (which lies between 2100 South and the I-80 freeway) from the Central Pointe TRAX Station in South Salt Lake east to McClelland Street (1040 East) in Salt Lake City. The S-Line line differs slightly from the TRAX lines in that it travels a slower speed, stops more often, and has "stops" instead of "stations". It is also intended for shorter trips than TRAX, as the initial length of the entire line is only about 2 miles (3.2 km).
Phase 1 of the S-Line opened for service on December 8, 2013. Future plans (Phase 2) include extending the current route to run north on 1100 East to 1700 South (along the western side of Westminster College).
In addition to the S-Line, several other areas in and around Salt Lake City are being evaluated for similar streetcar lines, but no specific projects have been announced so far.
UTA also provides many commuting alternatives through "UTA Rideshare." Many of the Rideshare options involve a combination other transportation alternatives (i.e., bicycle lockers at rail stations, bicycle racks on buses as well as the FrontRunner and TRAX trains, etc.). While many of these alternatives are provided by UTA, some are coordinated with other alternative transportation alternatives, (i.e., Enterprise CarShare, etc.)
One of the most visible is the UTA Vanpool program wherein commuters carpool together and share the cost (based on total monthly mileage), while UTA provides the van, fuel, vehicle maintenance, vehicle insurance, replacement van support, and up to 50 miles (80 km) per month for personal use of the van. The commuters must also provide designated drivers and a bookkeeper.
Other services of Rideshare included its Ridematching Database for those seeking partners for more traditional carpooling, suggestions for other alternatives to regular commuting, and options for employers to encourage and/or subsidize many of the alternatives suggested by Rideshare.
UTA must periodically adjust its bus, TRAX, S Line, and FrontRunner schedules. Although isolated schedule changes are made as necessary, whenever a substantial number of changes are made, UTA refers to it as Change Day. Unless a fairly urgent need arises, such as when a fairly major adjustment to resolve connections with the FrontRunner was made in February 2013, UTA generally limits Change Days to the middle part of April, August, and December each year and some changes should be anticipated at these times. Changes can include new routes, elimination of routes, route changes, and schedule changes. Many of UTA's seasonal bus routes (including PC-SLC Connect) also either begin or end on Change Days.
Area of operations
UTA operates in Box Elder, Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, and Weber Counties. Access extends from Brigham City in the north to Santaquin in the south. Service area includes of all cities in between, heading as far west as Grantsville in Tooele County and east to Park City in Summit County. UTA also provides service to many of the major ski resorts along the Wasatch Front during the winter months.
All of UTA's TRAX and FrontRunner trains and stations, streetcars and streetcar stops, and all fixed route buses are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act and are therefore accessible to those with disabilities. Signage at the stations, on the passenger platforms, and on the trains and streetcars clearly indicate accessibility options. Ramps on the passenger platform and assistance from the train operator may be necessary for wheelchair boarding on the Blue Line on weekdays only; these ramps are not used on weekends or on the Red or Green Lines. In accordance with the Utah Clean Air Act and UTA ordinance, "smoking is prohibited on UTA vehicles as well as UTA bus stops, TRAX stations, and FrontRunner stations".
There are numerous free Park-and-Ride lots throughout UTA's operational area. Many are operated by UTA in conjunction with its TRAX and FrontRunner stations or other transit centers, but others are maintained by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). In addition, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) has designated many of its meetinghouses' parking lots for use as well. UTA's TRAX Park-and-Ride lots may have as few as six parking spaces or as many as nearly 1200. However, there are certain restrictions for all the park-and-ride lots (for example, no 24-hour parking, no parking on Sundays in the LDS Church lots, no transit parking in LDS Church lots not designated as park-and-ride, etc.).[Note 11]
UTA operates parking garages in conjunction with two of its stations, the Jordan Valley TRAX Station in West Jordan and the Draper FrontRunner Station in Draper. The LDS Church also allows parking at the LDS Institute's parking garage near the University South Campus TRAX Station for those who purchase a $22.00 monthly Transit Parking Pass. However, park-and-ride parking is only allowed on a single level of the parking garage so only a limited number of Transit Parking passes sold each month, 275 on a first-come, first-served basis.
UTA also has a "kiss-and-ride" lot at the Draper FrontRunner Station. The only parking provided at the Draper Station is within the parking garage. There was also parking available on the nearby street before the city of Draper prohibited parking along FrontRunner Boulevard.
UTA's bus fares are fixed price, based on the service type, with express routes costing more. As of April 1, 2013 the basic bus and TRAX fare is $2.50, and Paratransit is $4  A fare on one mode of transit will usually transfer to another (e.g., bus to TRAX, the FrontRunner to TRAX or bus, etc.). Paper transfers are issued and valid for use on other buses and TRAX. TRAX and S Line fares are similarly fixed price, with the option to buy a 2-ride ticket. Fares on the FrontRunner are distance-based and can be transferred to TRAX and/or bus, but TRAX or bus fare cannot be transferred to the FrontRunner. However, possession of a valid transfer can be used to offset the cost of the ticket for the FrontRunner in the amount of a basic bus fare (this option is offered on the ticket kiosk at the time of purchase).
Numerous fare products are available and a variety of discounts and discount passes are available for eligible riders, including all day and monthly passes purchased at local stores; passes for college students, minors, and seniors; group passes; and employer-sponsored passes. Ticket kiosks at all FrontRunner, MAX, and TRAX stations accept cash and major debit and credit cards (except the kiosks at the 900 South and Ballpark TRAX stations, which accept only cash). While ticket kiosks provide change for cash purchases, cash paying riders should have the exact fare amount upon boarding buses as change cannot be provided.
In 2009, UTA launched an automated fare collection system (ARC) to collect fares with contactless smart cards. As the first full AFC system in the United States to accept contactless bank cards (ExpressPay, Zip from Discover, PayPass and PayWave), the UTA system, implemented in conjunction with Vix Technology, received the 2009 Innovation Award from the American Public Transportation Association and the 2009 Sesames Transportation Award.
UTA is now offering a prepaid fare card called FAREPAY. The FAREPAY cards can be used to quickly pay fares on any UTA operated transportation (except Paratransit). The cards can be purchased online or a UTA customer service center, as well as select retailers. The cards have a one-time $3.00 activation fee, but can then be loaded (or reloaded) with as little as $5.00 or as much as $500.00. Reloading of cards may also be done online or at a UTA customer service center, as well as the same select retailers that sell the cards.
UTA currently has a Free Fare Zone in Downtown Salt Lake City which allows transportation patrons that both enter and exit bus or TRAX service within the zone to ride at no charge. The Zone was originally created in 1985 and covers an area of approximately thirty-six city blocks. The boundaries are roughly North Temple, 200 East, 500 South, and 400 West. TRAX stations within the zone include Arena, City Center, Courthouse, Gallivan Plaza, Planetarium, and Temple Square. In addition, the Free Fare Zone also includes the area of the State Capitol (north to 500 North), the bus stops on 400 South between 200 East and 300 East, and three additional TRAX stations: Library, Old GreekTown, and Salt Lake Central. In June 2012 UTA revealed plans to eliminate the Free Fare Zone, but by September 2012 it announced that it would continue the zone, but with some minor adjustments, including when and how fares are collected for service ending outside the zone.
UTA has been criticized for having some of the highest fees in the transportation industry. In 2011 UTA raised fees as part of a change in the way it handled fuel surcharges. "A recent analysis by The Salt Lake Tribune shows that the UTA already had among the highest bus and train fares in the nation before the new fare hike.
Its current total fare of $2.25 was tied for fifth-highest among 193 transit systems nationally that responded to an American Public Transportation Association survey completed last August." 
A great deal of UTA's funding and fiscal stability comes from permanent taxation, specifically a portion of the local sales tax when authorized by a specific county.
Leadership and operation
UTA is governed by paid executives and a separate 16-member Board of Trustees that continually directs agency staff to improve public transit along the Wasatch Front. Trustees are appointed by the city and county governments that fund UTA with a local option sales taxes. Board members work with their appointing local representatives to direct UTA so the agency can best meet the needs of individual communities.
Local-elected officials may also serve on the UTA Board, and one seat is reserved for a member of the State Transportation Commission, which is part of the Utah Department of Transportation. The President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and Governor of the State of Utah each appoint one seat as well.
In July 2013, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that for the year 2012 UTA had earned the "Gold Standard", TSA's highest security rating. TSA also reported that UTA was among only fifteen other mass transit agencies to have earned this rating for the same period.
Higher salaries of executives has been an issue. In 2015, UTA spokesperson announced "In essence, new executives will be hired for less than current executives--as much as 20 percent less" No comment was made on the current executives.
UTA also operates a law enforcement arm, the Utah Transit Authority Public Safety Department. The department conducts law enforcement services, criminal investigations and public safety throughout bus transit, commuter rail, and light rail systems.
The purpose of the FrontLines 2015 project was to meet the increasing transportation needs of the Wasatch Front’s growing population. It consisted of expansions to both TRAX and the FrontRunner and was the largest expansion in UTA’s history. UTA relied heavily on sales tax revenues to fund this project. On December 10, 2012 the FrontRunner South extension opened for service and extended the previous line 45 miles (72 km) south from Salt Lake City to Provo. This new expansion allows commuters to travel from Provo to Salt Lake City in less than one hour. FrontRunner South was an extension of the previous line, which ran north from Downtown Salt Lake City to Pleasant View in north Weber County. FrontLines 2015 added/expanded four extensions in the TRAX system including the Mid-Jordan extension, the West Valley City extension, the airport extension, and the Draper extension. While all the projects were set to be completed by the year 2015, all of them were completed well ahead of schedule. The mid-Jordan TRAX and West Valley extensions both opened August 7, 2011 and the airport extension opened April 14, 2013, followed by the Draper extension on August 18, 2013. Just prior to the opening of the Draper extension in August 2013, UTA announced that the FrontLines 2015 project had been completed under budget and years ahead of schedule.
- Does not include light rail (TRAX & streetcar) or commuter rail riders
- Ridership data prior to 1996 is not provided by American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
- TRAX first opened in December 1999
- Data for THIRD quarter 2000, no ridership data reported by American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for UTA for fourth quarter
- TRAX Red Line (University extension) opened in December 2001
- TRAX Red Line (University Medical Center extension) opened in September 2003
- The FrontRunner began service in April 2008
- TRAX Red Line Mid-Jordan extension and Green Line West Valley extension both opened in August 2011
- The FrontRunner South extension opened in December 2012
- TRAX Green Line Airport extension opened in April 2013, Blue Line Draper extension opened in August 2013, and the S Line opened in December 2013
- Recently UTA announced that beginning July 1, 2013 it will start a one year pilot program involving most of its TRAX and FrontRunner Park-and-Ride lots. The purpose of the new program is to make rider connections with the Salt Lake City International Airport more convenient by avoiding the need to park at the airport. The programs allows UTA patrons to park for an "unlimited amount of time" in the designated Park and Ride lots. In addition, UTA will allow free parking in all of its parking garages. Previous UTA policy limited parking to no more than 24 hours, except at its parking garages. As part of the year-long pilot program, "UTA will measure parking lot usage and monitor costs, maintenance requirements, impacts to snow removal and security issues before determining if the program will be extended." There are eight Park-and-Ride lots that are excluded from this test program and the 24-hour time limit will still apply to these lots. In addition none of UTA's bus Park-and-Ride lots are included in this program.
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Also affecting the timing of opening the new line is that UTA tries to open new lines on one of the three days a year when it changes schedules, which usually are in April, August and December.
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The Draper TRAX line will mark the completion of the FrontLines 2015 project, which adds more than 70 miles [110 km] of new rail lines to the UTA system and was completed two years ahead of schedule and $300 million under budget, according to the agency.
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