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Salt Lake City —Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker propsed a new type of transit pass that may soon be available to Salt Lake City residents which is intended to minimize the number of car trips that contribute to poor air conditions.
Becker proposed a partnership with Utah Transit Authority to offer the new transit pass option. Under the plan, Salt Lake City residents would be eligible to purchase a one-year transit pass for $360. Residents could pay all at once or in 12 installments of $30/month, charged to their utility bill. This would be the first pass to be offered to municipal residents as a group, although the plan is modeled after similar bulk pass programs offered by UTA.
The purpose of the pass is to create an incentive to use mass transit and improve air quality. Studies show residents are more likely to use mass transit when they are pass-holders. The pass would be good for UTA’s regular bus, TRAX and FrontRunner services. In six round trips per month, residents could break even on their investment. There would be no limit on the number of passes purchased per household.
Mayor Becker was joined for the announcement by city councilman Stan Penfold, the city council sponsor of the proposal; Utah Transit Authority general manager Michael Allegra; Breathe Utah executive director Erin Mendenhall; Salt Lake Chamber executive vice president of communication Marty Carpenter and other community leaders.
The residential pass is proposed as a one-year pilot program and, if approved by the city council, is expected to launch in early 2014. UTA expects that up to 6,000 passes could be sold.