‘If you build it, they will come,’ SLC Transportation says on success of UTA bus Route 1
Aug 24, 2023, 9:37 PM | Updated: Aug 25, 2023, 2:05 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been nearly a year since Salt Lake City created bus Route 1. The Utah Transit Authority bus route has become one of SLC’s busiest routes, not only for university students but also for anyone trying to get from the west to the east end of the valley.
“It could take you an hour and a half to get downtown because you would have to transfer, not every route was as frequent,” said Julianne Sabula, Salt Lake City deputy director of transportation.
Before Route 1 in Salt Lake City was created, if a person was trying to get to downtown or the university from the west side of the valley using public transit, you had to pack your patience.
“We kind of went out on a limb as a city funding this route because we didn’t know if it was going to be successful,” Sabula said. “But turns out if you build it, they will come.”
Now, Route 1 — a bus line that runs all seven days a week, every 15 minutes from Redwood Road to the U. — is one of the city’s most popular routes.
“For us, it was really important to analyze and base our projects on a lot of things, including zero-car households,” Sabula said. “We find more of this on the west side of the city and Central city and we wanted to have more of a direct connection.”
A direct connection that a lot of college students and downtown workers are taking advantage of. While the route has seen success in the past year, there is more to shorten commute times between both sides of the valley.
“We have a barrier, the freeway and the railroad tracks, and that’s significant,” Sabula said. “Transit can’t be reliable if it has to wait for a train.”
Because of the great success that the city has seen from routes like this one, they plan to look at more routes in the coming years that will provide better transportation to and from the east and west sides of the valley.