Should UTA rides be free during bad air days?

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - Some have asked if Utah Transit Authority should officer free rides as an incentive for people to take mass transit during bad air days. Paris and several other cities do the same, but would people still ride?

Carl Arky is a spokesperson for UTA, and says during inversions they don't notice a big change in passengers.

"Typically during the inversion we'll see maybe about a one percent bump if that in ridership," said Arky.

A majority of the haze during inversions comes form people driving. Offering free ride days is something the organization is looking into. Arky notes because our inversions last so long it would be difficult to do all the time.

"We don't know how many red alert days we're going to have," said Arky. So obviously that cuts into revenue, and anybody who's run a business understands you have to have revenue to stay in business."

Brittany Bush is from South Jordan and was riding the TRAX Thursday night with her husband. She would like to see more people riding. Also questions if she does enough.

"I hate the inversion it's so bad, but what am I doing about it," said Bush.

She admits she doesn't take public transit as much has she could. Although she believes free rides would help. Bush said it's the extra commute time which keeps her from taking it more often.

"I don't drive during normal business hours traffic hours," said Bush. "So I think the time issue is what's going on for me."

UTA said offering some free ride days is something they are looking into and could come in early next year. During the inversion Arky hopes people will consider taking public transit at least one day a week.


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