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UTA to offer 5,000 free weekly passes

Published February 5, 2014 11:48 am

Clean air • Program seeks to encourage more transit use to reduce pollution.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Transit Authority announced Wednesday that it will again give away 5,000 one-week transit passes over coming weeks, thanks to financial support from the Utah Clean Air Partnership.

Some of the passes — designed to promote the use of public transportation for improved air quality — will be available at UTARideClear.com and will be sent by mail to people who register there. Additional passes will be distributed at select locations. UTA urges people to check the website or follow UTA on Facebook or Twitter to find when new batches of cards are released.

The passes are good for seven consecutive days of unlimited use on UTA trains and buses between Feb. 17 and March 31.

"UCAIR is focused on educating, encouraging and empowering everyone to take actions that can improve our air quality," said Ted Wilson, UCAIR executive director. "Transit can be a big part of the solution. With this program, UTA is enabling individuals to make a different choice in how they get around, which in turn improves air quality."

UTA and UCAIR said that winter is a critical time to reduce vehicle travel along the Wasatch Front, because of inversions that settle in during periods of cold temperatures and clear skies. Particulate matter and other pollutants emitted by automobiles become trapped within the cold air layer, creating unhealthy air conditions.

Last summer, a partnership between UTA and Zions Bank gave away 4,000 weekly transit passes and riders used them for a total of 20,008 boardings.

Each batch of those earlier passes, available mostly online, disappeared within 24 hours.