2019 was full of change for UTA. We had anniversaries, service improvements and expansions, and new projects launch. Here is a quick review of our big 2019.
March — UTA launched a large community outreach effort called Service Choices. To get the public’s input on how best to improve our bus network we held open houses, attended numerous community events and ended up surveying over 3,300 people from the seven counties we serve. Soon we’ll be asking for your input on the draft plan that resulted from this effort.
April — The S-Line streetcar celebrated its fifth year of operation and the completion of its double-tracking from 300 East to 500 East, allowing UTA to increase frequency from 20 minutes to 15 minutes. Since the S-Line’s completion, South Salt Lake and Sugar House areas of Salt Lake City have experienced significant growth, with the addition of more than 1,000 residential units and over two million square feet of redevelopment.
April — In partnership with UDOT, the autonomous vehicle shuttle pilot project began touring the state to allow the public to experience this technology first-hand and provide input on how it could be used as part of a multi-modal transit system. In 2019 #AVShuttleUtah has provided rides in six locations to over 4,000 people.
June — UTA began a large rail replacement project along Main Street and 400 South. The project, scheduled for 30 days, was completed almost a week early, minimizing disruptions to riders, residents and businesses. In August, we did a similar but smaller project near Arena Station. Replacing the 20-year old rail in that high-traffic area will increase safety and provide a smoother ride.
June — We finished implementing our new leadership structure by hiring our Executive Director, Carolyn Gonot who officially started in August.
July — We debuted our new partnership with the Transit app. UTA riders can plan, track and get notifications all on one app. In just the past four weeks, the app has been used about 400,000 times in our service area.
August — UTA had its biggest Change Day in over seven years. Sixty-seven new and improved bus routes rolled out into Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele and Utah counties. Salt Lake City funded and received the lion’s share of changes debuting its Frequent Transit Network with Routes 2, 9, and 21 running longer hours and more frequently.
August — UTA celebrated the first anniversary of UVX. Running every six minutes during peak hours, this BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) line has changed the commuting experience for the roughly 13,000 Utah County residents and UVU and BYU students that use it daily.
September — Our community relations efforts got a complete overhaul. You may have noticed UTA at a community event or heard about the relaunch of the school education program. In 2019, we gave over 72 transit safety and education presentations to elementary, middle school and high school students.
November — We launched our microtransit pilot program — UTA on Demand by Via — in southern Salt Lake County. In its six weeks of operation, over 5,000 trips were taken on the service and it was used by over 500 riders.
December — On December 4th, we celebrated 20 years of TRAX. We looked back on how TRAX has influenced development along the Wasatch Front and shared 20 facts about our first rail. More than 283 million rides have been taken on TRAX since the first line opened in December 1999.
December — In September we began rolling out our new bus stop signage. In December with Salt Lake City, we celebrated the new signage and the new, improved bus stops on 900 South near 200 West. Our new bus stop signs mark the beginning of better wayfinding and better bus stops making their way through the system in the next few years.
We’re excited about all the opportunities in 2019 to celebrate our accomplishments and begin to explore new modes. Our 2020 looks to be just as eventful with celebrating our 50th anniversary, the new Depot District Bus Garage construction commencing, and the continued development of the Point of the Mountain transit study and Davis-Salt Lake Connector project.