Residents may be going farther, and more often, on Utah Transit Authority buses than they originally anticipated after Tuesday night's general election results.
Springville voters approved the city's annexation into the service almost 3-to-1, ending a two-year struggle by city officials to even get the issue on the ballot. The city will now devote one-quarter of 1 percent of its sales tax revenues toward funding the service.However, the failure of Initiative A - the removal of the state's sales tax on food - on a statewide level means the city will have at least $3,000 in additional sales tax revenues for UTA funding, and the service will begin phasing in its Springville Transit Plan B, perhaps even as early as spring 1991, according to Transit Planner Kip Billings.
The plan includes not only hourly downtown service Monday through Friday but also limited downtown service on Saturday and a single extension of UTA's Provo/Salt Lake commuter route, he said.
"Without those revenues, the additional service would not have been available, at least not this soon. It also means we can start considering other additional services for the future."
The hourly downtown service will be an extension of the current Provo/Orem Route 8, which serves the East Bay Industrial Park, Brigham Young University, University Mall and Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, as well as bringing patrons near other downtown sites like Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
Buses will run between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the line, taking I-15 south to Exit 265 onto U-75 to the city's industrial park and along Main Street, 400 East and 900 and 400 South before returning the same way northbound. Fares for the downtown route will be 50 cents, 25 cents for senior citizen and handicapped patrons.
The commuter express will run Monday through Saturday, arriving in Salt Lake City at 7:45 a.m. and departing at 5 p.m. Commuter fares will be $1.25 each way.
Mayor Delora Bertelsen, who ran for office last year promising she would do everything possible to get the issue on the ballot, said the service is vital for Springville's senior citizens, handicapped and young marrieds. Also, the bus annexation also opens the possibility of United Way transit shuttles serving the city.
"I think it's a service these people really need, and that this will prove to be a big benefit to our city."
UTA's board of directors originally considered service to the city only in a package with Spanish Fork. However, when members of the Spanish Fork City Council balked at the cost of the service, new plans were drawn that fit Springville into possible annexation, Billings said.
A series of public meetings this summer informed UTA on which city areas could be served feasibly and what Utah County areas citizens would like to have access to, he said.
"We got a lot of valuable input from the public during those meetings and were able to work out some pretty good plans from there. All in all, I'd say it worked out pretty well."