POLITICS + GOVERNMENT
Utah lawmakers seeking funding for a free fare year on public transit
SALT LAKE CITY — Clean air advocates and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are working on multiple projects to lower air pollution in Utah. One group of lawmakers is proposing a plan that would make public transit in Utah free for a year.
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, is sponsoring the request for around $25 million dollars in funding. The requested funding would cover the bill for all kinds of public transit in Utah for one year.
Weiler said free fares would encourage more people to try out public transit.
“There are barriers in getting people to do that the first time. I sincerely believe that if we made it free for a year, we’ll get a lot more people trying it out.”
And more people using public transit offers a benefit other than cleaner air, Weiler said.
“The only way that we’re going to manage future growth through my district is to get more people to ride the train.”
The Utah Transit Authority said ridership on all platforms went up dramatically during Free Fare February last year. FrontRunner ridership alone went up 200% on Saturdays during 2022’s Free Fare February.
Related: UTA offering free or reduced fares in February
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