SALT LAKE CITY — All Utah Transit Authority travel is free for the entire month of February.
One of the goals is to try and increase ridership across UTA's entire system in northern Utah.
Rodney Smith is a loyal rider on the UTA system every day.
"It gets really expensive with the transfers every two hours," said Smith. "If you get a $5 pass, that’s great. All-day pass, but about five bucks."
Close to $200 will now be in Smith's pockets this month, thanks to Free Fare February.
"It works out really good for us all," he said. "We can go all over the place with it being free."
The UTA says hundreds of thousands of people ride mass transit in the state of Utah every day.
They say this move does come with a price tag.
"It will take about $1.2-1.3 million to cover the lost fare revenue, but this will be done. It will be taken care of and it will be a great test to the system to see how people respond," said UTA spokesman Carl Arky.
That will be covered through a combination of contributions and taxpayer money.
While free fare days have been something available in the past, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall says this experiment is a first of its kind here in Utah.
She is also touting this as the biggest air quality opportunity the state has ever seen.
"The single biggest contributor to our air pollution is the cars that we drive. Forty-two percent here in Salt Lake County, so if we want to see improved air quality, we know the best thing we can do is get out of our cars and trucks and onto the buses and trains," Mendenhall said.
While improving the air quality, the mayor also pointed to the savings people could see if they park their cars and utilize public transportation instead.
"The average Utah household is spending 20 percent of their household budget on transportation costs," Mendenhall said. "When you take transit, especially during a month when you don't have to pay a dime for it, you are actually saving quite a bit of money and increasing the affordability of simply living in this valley."
Mayor Mendenhall says she is hopeful that they will not only get great data from this initiative, but that it will also compel the state to make the system free moving forward.
For more information on UTA train and bus schedules, as well as trip planning guides, visit rideuta.com.