Salt Lake City leaders toast transit as UTA route changes take effect Monday

SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City and UTA officially launched new transit services on Monday.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Council Member Charlie Luke and UTA Board Chair Carlton Christensen spoke about the new bus routes and gave a toast to transit at the Salt Lake Central Station during the Monday morning commute.

This is all part of the first phase of the city’s Transit Master Plan.

More than half of the bus routes around the Wasatch front changed on Monday, many of those routes helping to connect the east and west side of the city.

The goal of the this plan is to improve the lives of people all over the city, by providing them transportation to all their destinations.

“We’ve heard the horror stories, for some people they have to get up at 4 a.m. to get to their job by 7 a.m.; it’s ridiculous, so at the end of the day what we’re trying to do is make sure that people can actually get to buses, then be able to use them to get to and from their work,” Biskupski said.

This first part of the plan brings seven-day- a- week service to routes 2, 9, and 21. Service will arrive at stops every 15 minutes Monday through Saturday during peak periods. On Sunday, early morning and late night service will arrive every 30 minutes. Some of the buses running on the 200 South corridor will arrive every 7 minutes.

“It makes transit a super practical way for them to get around within the city," Christensen said. "You simply just have to walk out within 7 to 15  minutes you can get on a bus to connect into our city, and, for many, even perhaps do away with needing a car."

Mayor Biskupski said having buses arrive so quickly will improve the lives of thousands of people, helping them to get to school and work on time.

“The routes are going to be high frequency routes, like Second South will probably run as fast as every 7 minutes," Biskupski said. "You’ll be able to catch a bus on Second South to take you in and out of the city, up to the east side where there’s plenty of employment opportunities but also into the downtown area."

The funding for the new routes comes from UTA and sales tax revenue from the city’s Funding Our Future initiative.

“It creates that opportunity for folks who do need to travel east-west, who do need to connect to some of the north-south lines; it gives them more opportunity to do just that,” Luke said.

Mayor Biskupski said her favorite part about the new bus routes is knowing school kids will get to participate in more after school activities.

“I’m most excited for students because the school year is about to begin, and if you live on the west side and go to East High School, now for the first time ever you will be able to stay after school and fully participate in all the activities--which is so great. It’s a game changer for kids,” Biskupski said.

This is just the first phase of the City’s Transit Master Plan; more improvements are expected in the future.

To see a map of all the updated routes, click here.

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