Public Transportation in Utah

Written on:April 14, 2013
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When considering moving to Utah, one of the biggest questions is “how do people get around in Utah?” What is the public transit system like?

Utah embraces their tourism Industry and backs it up with accessibility. They made transportation very much available so that tourist and locals can get around with ease. The public transportation in Utah offers a variety, from route buses, light rail lines (TRAX) to commuter rail line (Frontrunner). Definitely, the public transportation in Utah can take you wherever you need to be. The transportation system in Northern Utah not only helps their tourism industry but also improves the quality of life in the state.

Bus System in Utah

The bus system in Utah is managed by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA). They provide public transportation throughout the Wasatch Front. UTA offers over a 100 bus routes within Utah and most of these routes are on a regular schedule. They also offer special services such as ski routes during ski seasons. Today, they also offer what they call MAX which the UTA describes as “light rail on rubber tires”. This is a high performance bus service that aims to achieve the light rail service quality matched with the simplicity and flexibility of the bus system. The MAX tries to get the best of both worlds.

The bus system like most systems throughout the country offers a variety of pass and fare options. There are adults, seniors, minors, and student monthly passes available. You can pay for one-time fares, or punch passes. Fare start at $2.50.

TRAX

Transit Express (TRAX) is a three-line light rail system that serves Salt Lake City and several of its suburbs. TRAX has three lines in service and UTA is still working on improving the service with greater coverage and access to everyone. As of April 14th, Trax opened up a line to the Salt Lake City International Airpot. This was a great move in allowing people to commute with ease. Specifically myself, traveling multiple times a year I no longer have to park my car in the long-term lot ! The TRAX line connects to Frontrunner for Northern Utah residents which is better for those who always ask for rides to the airport. Don’t be deceived, TRAX again is only three lines and will only help those who live in downtown Salt Lake City, in town for a weekend, or need a ride to the airport. UTA continuously works to still improve their service and provide commuters convenient and hassle-free service.  A commuter can definitely save time, money and effort by taking the TRAX instead of driving. We can only expect great things and improvements from happening from this point forward.

Frontrunner

The Commuter Rail System is also operated by the UTA that uses a part of the right-of-way of the Utah Central Railroad. Running alongside Legacy Highway and I-15 , most of the lines that the Frontrunner uses are single-tracked with double tracks at several other points to allow trains to pass each other. The Frontrunner offers train service from Orem to Ogden. Recently, the UTA adjusted the Frontrunner and connecting bus schedules to match. This adjustment is expected to give riders leeway time to get on and get off the train to make the train and bus connections smoother.

Frontrunner offers tables, power sources and a restroom facility for the commute of 15-45 minutes. Fare runs from $2 – $10 one-way based on the length of the commute. The Group Pass allows up to four riders, of all ages, to travel together on FrontRunner, TRAX and local bus for only $14.00. This is a great fare saver for those traveling together from far destinations.

Is it possible to live without a car in Utah? Yes, people do it all the time. The public transportation system is viable, works well together and affordable. Do most people own a car in Utah? Yes, that too. I hope this helps you when it comes to getting around in Utah. If you have questions use the contact form and we’re happy to help!

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