Tuesday's general election could mark the end of a two-year effort by city officials to bring Utah Transit Authority service to downtown Springville - for a sales-tax increase of one-quarter cent.
After a series of public hearings this summer, UTA's board of directors approved Springville's request for the service on Sept. 18. At that board meeting, the directors set a series of annexation terms for the city, which the Springville City Council approved in October.Those two moves leave the final decision in the hands of the city's registered voters, who must approve the annexation into the system by a simple majority. Should the annexation pass, the city could begin receiving bus service as early as spring 1991.
Based on citizen and UTA input during the public hearings, the proposed transit service would be an extension of the current UTA Provo/Orem Route 8, which serves the East Bay Industrial Park, Brigham Young University, University Mall and Utah Valley Community College and would bring patrons near downtown sites such as Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
The extension would run hourly from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., departing from East Bay onto southbound I-15 to the Springville No. 265 exit, which runs onto U-75. The circuitous route would run through Springville's industrial park and along Main Street, 400 East, 900 and 400 South before returning to points north.
Also, provided Initiative A - removal of the state's sales tax on food - does not pass, UTA would be able to provide one extension of its Provo/Salt Lake Commuter route. That extension would arrive in Salt Lake City before 8 a.m. and would leave Salt Lake City before 5 p.m.
Fares for the Provo/Orem route would be 50 cents, 25 cents for the disabled or senior citizens, and one-way fares for the possible Salt Lake commuter route would be $1.25.
Funding for the service would come from one-quarter of 1 percent of the city's sales tax revenues. According to UTA transit planner Kip Billings, that could provide between $20,000 to $30,000, depending on the results from Initiative A.
Further route extensions could also be possible should that initiative fail, Billings said, though UTA is not disclosing what those might be.
Though cities with populations greater than 27,000 receive a representative on the UTA board of directors, Springville would receive at least partial representation through Provo's and Orem's three representatives or the official representing the four-city area in northern Utah County - American Fork, Lehi, Lindon and Pleasant Grove.
According to city officials, Springville has needed the bus service for quite some time, especially for its elderly, handicapped, students and commuters.
"This is something the council has worked on for a long time," Mayor Delora Bertelsen said. "Naturally, I'm delighted."
Additionally, considering environmental concerns - especially air quality - if commuters use the service, Utah County could be a healthier place to breathe, Bertelsen said.