BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON – UTA riders should not expect a fare increase next year if the transit agency approves its proposed 2014 budget.
The agency unveiled a proposed $236 million operating budget last week at a board meeting in Farmington.
The budget would increase rail service hours by 16 percent and bus service by four percent. The budget also includes funding for a planning study in Davis County, which may result in additional service for the area, according to Robert Biles, UTA chief financial officer.
UTA last raised its fares in April, when bus riders saw a 15-cent increase in the adult cash fare from $2.35 to $2.50.
A public hearing on the budget will be held Nov. 20, at 2:30 p.m. at UTA headquarters, 669 W. 200 South in Salt Lake City.
Information on the budget will be widely disseminated and will be available on the company’s website rideuta.com.
Final adoption of the budget is expected to occur at the board’s December meeting.
The budget includes projected revenue from new partnerships such as the ski bus service in Ogden, Biles said.
The agency is estimating a nearly $16 million increase in revenues С 9.6 percent of that in fare revenue increases from expected growth in ridership.
Among items to be funded would be a plan to change to a length-of-trip fare base, instead of the current flat-fee fare.
The plan would include improving electronic fare collection systems and GPS systems showing where vehicles are and the length of trips.
The 2014 budget will be the first full year of service for three lines С the airport and Draper TRAX extensions and the Sugarhouse streetcar scheduled to begin operation on Dec. 8.