Salt Lake City ranks high in new data on transportation pollution

May 22, 2024, 12:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: A Trax public transit train sits idle. Salt lake city transportation...

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: A Trax public transit train sits idle after the entire train system was shut down in downtown Salt Lake City after an earthquake on March 18, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit the Salt Lake Valley on Wednesday morning followed by at least 20 aftershocks ranging from magnitude 2.5 to 3.9. (George Frey/Getty Images)

(George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City received national praise for its efforts to reduce transportation pollution. StreetLight Data’s 2024 Climate Impact Index ranked Salt Lake City as 15th out of 100 for limiting pollution. 

Director of Innovative Mobility for UTA, Hal Johnson, said the ranking comes, in part, because the agency tries to provide for the needs of the communities they serve through a market-based approach.

According to the report by StreetLight Data, Salt Lake City has the 8th most-used public transit system.

Additionally, Johnson said the ranking likely reflects UTA’s effort to target younger ridership. “We see a lot of young people on the transit system as there’s a lot of interest in being more environmentally friendly,” Johnson said.

Salt Lake City has low transportation pollution, what about other cities? 

However, it’s a different story for Ogden, and Provo, Utah.  StreetLight’s survey has those cities ranked last. 

UTA continuing to encourage more riders to take public transit. Johnson said they are “working with the communities to plan for more people living and working in and around the rail stations”.

Johnson said they have invested a lot in cleaning up their emissions, “We’ve made pretty significant investments in electrifying the bus fleet. We have 34 electric buses we are operating”.

UTA has increased the use of these electrical buses in both Ogden and Provo to encourage more ridership.

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Salt Lake City ranks high in new data on transportation pollution