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UTA proposes fare increase, fuel estimate changes

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – The Utah Transit Authority is planning fare increases over the next two years.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – The Utah Transit Authority is planning fare increases over the next two years.

A new proposal would raise fares up from $2.25 to $2.50 by 2013, and would offset inflation, changing market conditions, and a budget shortfall due to a weak economy since 2008, according to UTA spokesman Gerald Carpenter.

The UTA also plans to change the way fuel surcharges are imposed and calculated.

Currently, the UTA gauges fuel surcharges based on the “average” standard of $3.00 retail per gallon of diesel to $4.00 per gallon. Currently, when the average rises above $3.00 per gallon over one fiscal quarter, the UTA imposes a .25 cent surcharge. Under the new proposal, the “new normal” would be $4.00 per gallon, according to Carpenter.

The cost per gallon is based on estimates from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Carpenter said that even though the UTA does not pay the same for a gallon of diesel fuel as would a gas station customer at the pump, the estimates are used as a gauge for increases in fuel cost, and are not to be considered the actual price UTA pays for diesel.

The new rate hike proposal and average cost per gallon standard will be open to debate at public hearings, beginning on Tuesday, February 15th. Other hearings will be held at various Wasatch Front locations until March 3 (see schedule below).

- Utah County – Feb. 15, 5:30 to 7 p.m., UCCU Center, Presidential South
Suite, Utah Valley University, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem.

- Davis County – Feb. 16, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Farmington City Hall, 160 S. Main,
Farmington.

- Salt Lake County – Feb. 17, 1 to 2:30 p.m., UTA offices, 669 W. 200 South,
Salt Lake City.

- Weber County – Feb. 17, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Commission Chambers, Weber
County Building, 2380 Washington Boulevard, Ogden.

- Tooele County – Feb. 22, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Tooele County Courthouse,
Auditorium, 47 S. Main, Tooele.

- Salt Lake County – Feb. 23, 5:30 to 7 p.m., UTA offices, 669 W. 200 South,
Salt Lake City.

- Box Elder County – Feb. 24, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

For more information, go to rideuta.com.

Be sure to watch ABC 4 News at 10:00 p.m. Monday night as Annie Cutler goes undercover to see one way UTA is losing thousands of dollars a year.

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