SALT LAKE CITY — Preliminary numbers show that ridership across Utah Transit Authority's system increased during "Free Fare February."
UTA provided the numbers to political leaders involved in it. The metrics, shared with FOX 13 News, show a 22% increase in weekday ridership on buses, and a 30% increase on weekends. Frontrunner saw a 33% increase in weekday ridership as a result of no fares, and a stunning 163% increase on Saturday (the commuter rail network does not have a Sunday service). TRAX saw only slight gains of 16% on weekdays and around a 20% increase on weekends.
"Free Fare February" was created out of an agreement with the transit authority, political leaders and the governor. It offered no fare on all of UTA's systems for the entire month. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall previously told FOX 13 News she has wanted data to determine if it is something that could be made permanent.
Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake City, proposed a bill to make all transit fares in Utah free forever. The bill did not advance in the legislative session.