UTA is joining the Federal Transit Administration and transit agencies around the country in celebrating Transit Equity Day. The day was established to honor the civil rights leader Rosa Parks and takes place on her birthday, February 4.

“Rosa Parks and others before her were pivotal in moving civil rights forward, specifically transit and its role in our communities. We are responsible to create a system that is accessible and equitable for everyone. As we think about Transit Equity Day, we are reminded how Rosa Parks stood firm in helping the world see the importance of how transportation helps provide a lifeline for ALL riders.” — Kenya Fail, UTA Manager of Civil Rights Compliance

In celebration of Transit Equity Day, we’re sharing a few of the ways we are creating a more equitable transit system for all.

Meeting People Where They Are At

UTA’s Community Engagement Team leads our public input processes and community outreach. In the past year, they have grown in staff and program delivery. They are the front lines of building a equitable transit system by connecting with communities that may face additional barriers to using the our system, such as unsheltered persons, people with disabilities, seniors, and refugees.

Their biggest program is Travel Training. Through this program, they have provided travel training to individuals and groups and have trained others to become travel trainers. Last year alone, they did 238 individuals sessions, trained 2,156 people via group sessions, trained 15 trainers, and led 30 training sessions for organizations.

Indexing for the Future

There are many tools we use in understanding the impacts of our different service choices, and we are adding a new one! Our Planning Department is developing a Transit Equity Index. This tool will be used in our long-range transit planning to provide a more proactive gauge of how service choices impact various groups. This project is just in preliminary stages and it will involve talking with various communities throughout our service area. So stay tuned!

Seeking a Workforce That Reflects the Riders We Serve

Our Talent Acquisition Team has sought new and creative ways to reach a wider candidate pool over the last year. They have frequently attended events with our Community Engagement Team to help share information about numerous types of employment opportunities available at our 2,800-person organization. For example, they participated in People Helping People for single mothers, the Utah Hispanic Networking Event, Refugee Fair, and Samoan Heritage Festival.

But their most innovative effort has been the development of a full English as a Second Language (ESL) program. This program aims to reduce language barriers in the pursuit of employment at UTA. From the first class, we have hired eight people to work as bus operators, mechanics, and more. UTA’s ESL program is the first of its kind in the industry!

Get Involved

We encourage you to stay informed on opportunities to provide input by joining our Rider Insider list. It’s a short, bi-weekly newsletter that helps keep you — our rider — connect to your public transit. If you’d like to go a step further, consider joining our Community Advisory Committee. We are currently accepting applications through February 14.

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