Regular UTA riders and those curious about the public transit system will be able to ride for free this Thursday and Friday.
Free Fare Days will run Feb. 28 and March 1, sponsored by Salt Lake County, Intermountain Healthcare, the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office and Davis County. On those days, all bus and train fare will be waived throughout the system, which spans Tooele, Davis, Box Elder, Summit, Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah counties.
“This year, we would especially like to encourage people to try riding the bus,” said Carlton Christensen, chairman of the UTA Board of Trustees, in a release. “We have increased bus route coverage and frequency on many routes, are increasing the use of natural gas and electric vehicles in our fleet, and are working with Salt Lake City on improving bus service.”
There are six bus routes that service Tooele County, including three routes that connect to Salt Lake County and three intra-county flex routes. Bus routes 451, 453 and 454 provide weekday morning and afternoon service for Tooele and Grantsville commuters to Salt Lake.
The 451 and 454 routes run from Tooele and Grantsville, respectively, to downtown Salt Lake in the morning, then back to their origin in the afternoon. The 453, which runs from between Salt Lake and Tooele via Salt Lake International Airport, has one morning run from Salt Lake to Tooele, but otherwise follows the schedule for Tooele County commuters with regular work hours.
The three flex routes, with two in Tooele and one in Grantsville, provide local service and connect to other UTA bus routes. In addition to the planned route, flex route riders can call ahead to schedule a detour to the route of up to three-quarters of a mile.
Requests for detours to flex routes can be scheduled by calling 801-287-7433 between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. If the detour is before 11 a.m., riders need to make the request the day before.
The last time UTA offered free fare for its services was Dec. 22, 2017, sponsored by Salt Lake County and the Salt Lake City Council. During the free day, UTA’s commuter train service and buses saw an increase of 23 percent in usage, with a total of approximately 31,732 additional boardings.