UTA’s Microtransit service coming to Davis County on Aug. 8Aug 04, 2022 09:54AM ● By Tom Haraldsen
Starting on Monday, Aug. 8, there will be a new and much more convenient way for south Davis County residents to ride Utah Transit Authority buses and trains. That’s when UTA’s new microtransit service, called UTA on Demand, will begin from North Salt Lake to portions of Farmington.
The private-public partnership is part of an app-based program that will improve connectivity for residents in Davis County, according to Beth Holbrook, a UTA Board of Trustee and a resident of Bountiful. She spoke to the Bountiful City Council on July 26, explaining the new program which has been operating in Salt Lake County for several months.
“Microtransit will improve flexible mobility options, help us repurpose underperforming bus routes, expand our transit access and service coverage, and provide first and last mile connections,” she said.
UTA on Demand is designed to provide corner-to-corner service within certain zone boundaries, giving patrons an easy way to connect to UTA bus stops or the Woods Cross FrontRunner station. By using an app on your cell phone, you can request a ride and a fully-branded UTA van will pick you up in minutes. Holbrook said this service can address the concerns many in Davis County have about gaining access to public transportation.
“Here in Bountiful, we have a lot of elevation shifts that make getting to some of our transit stops a little challenging,” she said. “We found that during COVID, a lot of our connector routes weren’t being utilized, so some were discontinued or changed. Microtransit is designed to be the solution to those challenges.”
Here’s how it works. A passenger can begin by downloading the UTA on Demand app to their smartphone from an app store or by calling 385-217-8191. As an alternative method for those without smartphones, you can also contact the service with a simple phone call. Once on the app, you register your name and set up an account using a debit or credit card, UTA pass or FAREPAY card. That passenger can then request a ride, will be told the pickup location, and a UTA van will pick them up. This is a ride-share service, so other passengers might be picked up or dropped off along the way. The cost is $2.50, the standard UTA fare, and fully transferable to other UTA modes.
Holbrook said the app-based technology matches multiple riders headed in similar directions into a single vehicle. The corner-to-corner service means riders will be picked up and dropped off close to their destinations. All the vans are ADA-compliant and curb to curb service is available for eligible riders.
“This will really help south Davis residents to plan their trips, and we’re encouraging everyone to try it out. In fact, the first 10 rides are free so everyone can try the service,” she said.
Another benefactor to the service is the environment, in particular air quality. While the vans are standard vehicles, fewer vehicles on the roadways can help with both pollution and traffic congestion.
“Hopefully, microtransit will encourage different strategies on how we’re maneuvering, whether to work or to another place we’re going,” Holbrook said.
You can learn more by going online to https://www.rideuta.com/Services/UTA-On-Demand. λ