Banner reading: Funding Our Future - Better Transit Service

What's new

The Council unanimously authorized the Interlocal Agreement and first Addendum with UTA on Tuesday, February 19. UTA’s Board of Directors also approved the agreement the next day. Enhanced service begins August 2019 on Routes 2, 9, and 21.

Learn about the routes

Mayor Biskupski and District 2 Council Member Andrew Johnston preview one of the new routes and discuss why enhanced transit is a critical need for Salt Lake City.

What's next?

As service is implemented, the Council will receive additional contract materials outlining timing for services, routes, and costs to add or improve bus stops. More updates will be posted here.

Graph showing transit occurring every 15 minutes Monday-Saturday 6 am to 7 pm

February 5, 2019

Latest Briefing: On February 5, the Council received an overview of the interlocal agreement with the Utah Transit Authority authorizing extended service. The enhanced routes will start running more often and later into the night to meet the goals identified in the City’s Transit Master Plan.

The Council also discussed how remaining funds allocated for transit might be spent and asked the Administration to return with a proposal that includes: a 20% contingency fund for the contract with UTA, and how funding might be reserved for transit-related improvements in areas near the new Homeless Resource Centers in Salt Lake City.

Test a route: On Saturday, February 9, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Salt Lake City and UTA will be testing Route 9 at Open Routes, a one-day event for community members to try new bus service for free. Two buses will be running along the western part of the new 9 route providing 15-minute service. The buses will run from the Navajo Circle north along Navajo Street and onto the Trax Power Station on North Temple via Redwood Road.

Next steps: the Council will consider voting on this agreement at the February 19 formal meeting at 7 p.m.

More briefings are anticipated as route funding for Year 2 will be considered in the 2019-20 budget, as well as with improvements for stops along these routes.

January 29, 2019

The draft Interlocal Agreement with UTA for enhanced transit service is now available. This agreement sets the framework for City-sponsored transit service, with yearly check-ins to refine service levels. Comments received so far have been provided to the Council to inform their upcoming discussion. December 11

The Council held a continued public hearing, which was continued to a later date to allow additional input once the Council has received finalized documents.

Next Steps

The next briefing will be scheduled once updated information has been received from the Mayor's Administration.

The agreements between UTA and the City need to be finalized and approved by the City Council before February to ensure implementation of new routes and increased frequency begins August 2019.

December 4: The Council received a briefing on the draft interlocal agreement and reviewed the attached chart, which explains the structure and different parts of the agreement needed before service implementation can begin.

The Council's requests for more information included:

  • What kind of data will be provided for the Funding Our Future accountability public dashboard?
  • Whether it's possible to "give teeth to" the City's desire to prioritize energy-efficient vehicles for City-funded routes such as electric buses and how much, if any, this might increase costs?
  • How to share advertising revenue from City-funded bus stops?
  • How can the City subsidize fares and incentivize ridership such as potential pilot programs for free fare zone expansion?
Chart showing the anticipated addenda governing improved transit service

Where you want to go

The Salt Lake City Council believes all residents should be able to affordably travel around the city, whether to homes, jobs, schools, or recreation.

Although many residents already enjoy access to several transportation options, the Council knows there are also many people who would benefit from additional access, particularly to public transit offerings. With this in mind, the Council approved a 0.5% sales tax increase earlier this year, with $5.3 million of the expected revenue planned for projects that will expand transit options citywide. $2.8 million is budgeted for the first installment to expand Utah Transit Authority bus service in Salt Lake City.

Goals for transit funding

When adopting the City budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, the Council added specific conditions to the funding set aside for the agreement with UTA. The exact language of the Council's action is below:

The funding of $5,289,492 for the first fiscal year of Phase I projects proposed by the Mayor is contingent on a contract and Interlocal Agreement (ILA) that serves the Council’s identified objectives below (note: the Council will need to approve an interlocal agreement before implementation):
i. Increasing coverage for underserved areas, particularly the Westside but not excluding other underserved areas of the City;
ii. Increasing ridership, particularly in the City’s downtown core;
iii. Building out infrastructure on Transit Master Plan routes;
iv. The Budget and timeline is based on 1000 North, 600 North, 200 South, 900 South, 2100 South. 400 South will be the last route implemented.

Cover photo of Salt Lake City's Transit Master Plan, featuring a Trax station in front of the mountains

Transit Master Plan

The need for improved public transit was identified in part through the extensive outreach conducted for the City's Transit Master Plan, which was adopted in late 2017. The draft agreement with UTA draws upon the goals for a frequent transit network (FTN) identified in the Transit Master Plan.

Click the image to view the full Master Plan.

Map showing routes funded for service increases along 200 South, 900 South, and 2100 South

The Draft Agreement - Updated 2/7/19

The Agreement between the City and UTA will include several parts, including an Interlocal Agreement, which will serve as the master agreement to encompass the overarching details of the service – responsibilities of each party, cost calculation method, generally the goals of expanding service, and values. The key details about how the goal of expanded service will be met will be in annual “Addenda” to the Interlocal.

In the transmittal, you can see:

  • the Administration's cover letter;
  • a presentation accompanying the work session briefing on November 27, 2018;
  • the draft Interlocal Agreement;
  • the first addendum to the agreement;
  • the resolution the Council will consider adopting on February 19, 2019