UTA focusing on rider experience, overall service in 2014
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — After a year in which the Utah Transit Authority launched four new light-rail lines, 2014 is expected to be much less eventful.
Agency officials said they will concentrate on enhancing the rider experience and improve overall service on the system's various rail and bus lines.
On Wednesday, the UTA board of trustees voted unanimously to approve an operating budget for the upcoming year.
The agency’s 2014 budget is estimated at $235 million. The total budget is about 7.6 percent higher than last year, with the additional funding needed to operate the agency's growing mass transit system.
The budget projects an estimated $325.5 million in revenue from numerous sources, including passenger revenue, advertising revenue, investment income and sales tax, along with federal operations and preventive maintenance funding.
On the expense side, the agency anticipates $235.9 million in costs from bus, rail, Paratransit, Rideshare and Vanpool services, and operations support, along with general and administrative expenditures. Additionally, UTA will incur debt service payments from bonds issued of about $88.1 million.
According to General Manager Michael Allegra, the agency is proud of the work done in 2013 that helped launch so many new light-rail extensions, along with expanded commuter-rail service from the previous year. He noted that plans are in the works for future streetcar lines and more bus-rapid transit and bus services.
Technology also will be a major tool in the advancement of transit in the coming year, Allegra said, including equipment that makes paying fares easier, such as the recently introduced electronic FAREPAY cards. There will also be mobile apps to make it easier for riders to find travel information.
“We want everybody to have access to transit,” Allegra said. “Making it as easy to use transit as it is to use (a) car is our goal."
- 2 homes, 3 other buildings damaged in...
- Author, activist speaks at Theodore Roosevelt...
- Why Pioneer Day is so important to Utahns
- 7 habits of mentally strong people
- 'None of it matters': Family grateful after...
- 'Catastrophic' arson fire destroys 10 Tooele...
- West Valley man killed in motorcycle crash...
- Applications being taken for justice court...
- Utah delegates finally stand and cheer... 93
- Utah GOP delegates finally fired up... 74
- The day after: Lee defends Cruz at GOP... 32
- Should mountain biking be allowed in... 28
- Local government board fostered... 16
- 2 charged in attack on gay men;... 16
- Utah Democrats headed to 'historic'... 16
- Can police-community relations be... 14