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Public transportation ridership sees increase during 'Free Fare February'

Posted at 2:50 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 00:05:49-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Halfway through 'Free Fare February' the Utah Transit Authority reported that ridership across all platforms of public transportation has increased.

Across the entire system, UTA reports ridership for the first two weeks of February was up 20 percent. Saturdays showed a 34 percent increase.

Most impressively, Frontrunner, which is the commuter train that runs from Ogden to Provo, saw an increase of 33 percent during the weekday and 163 percent on Saturdays.

Bus routes saw an average weekday increase of 22 percent, and a weekend increase of around 30 percent. Trax services gained about 16 percent more passengers on weekdays, 18 percent on Saturdays and 23 percent on Sunday.

The "Free Fare February" initiative cost about 1.2-1.3 million dollars and was paid for by a combination of contributions and taxpayer dollars.

Utah leaders including Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Governor Spencer Cox have given their support for the initiative, with the goal that the free rides would help improve air quality throughout the state.

Read - Free Fare February now underway on all UTA services

Some state leaders hope to make the free fares permanent in an effort to make living in Utah more affordable.

To learn more about the initiative, or schedule your trip, click here.