Thanks to a drop in fuel prices, UTA fares are also decreasing

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Starting Wednesday, it will be cheaper to ride UTA buses, TRAX and FrontRunner. The change in prices is due to lower gas prices.

Mass transit riders are a "price sensitive" group; when the cost changes, they notice.

"Thumbs up all the way! I like it! I like it a lot!" said Murray resident Jared Christensen.

Salt Lake City resident Hillary Jean said, "It's great. Sometimes when they increase amounts of money they never return it back to the lower rate, so it's nice that they're doing that. [It] shows that they appreciate us commuters."

The new fare decreases include a drop of 25 cents for the one-way fare and a $7.50 drop for an adult monthly pass. In a down economy, it helps. "Oh yes, oh yeah, believe me now it does. Every little bit helps," said Layton resident Charles Armstrong.

Salt Lake City resident Alfred Rasmussen told us, "I think that's awesome. Are you kidding? When it went up to $2.25, that was just a lot of money and I had to ride the bus a lot for going where I need to go with TRAX. And then when they stopped using tokens, that made it really hard to ride things, so I'm glad it's going down."

UTA says it's living up to its promise to remove its fuel surcharges once prices fell. Spokeswoman Carrie Bohnsack-Ware says it's because diesel gas prices are lower.

"We lagged about four months since they started to go up, and now it's been about four months since they've gone down. So we are finally able to take those off," she said.

She says sales tax revenue is down, so it would have helped UTA to keep the surcharges in place. "It would have been easy to keep the fares as they were, but we really do want people to be able to trust us and that's why we're keeping our word," she said.

Still, a scheduled fare increase takes effect Wednesday that was delayed from January. But with the surcharges gone, in the end, fares will be cheaper.

The changes mean that on Wednesday the price of an adult cash fare, for example, will drop from $2.25 to $2.00, and an adult monthly pass will drop from $74.50 to $67.00. [Click here for more information from UTA]

Over the past decade, thanks in part to inflation and fuel cost hikes, fares have steadily risen, doubling from $1 to $2 for a one-way fare. A monthly pass rose from $32.00 to $67.00.

This price reduction is a change from the overall trend over the last 10 years. To see the full chart of UTA fares over the past decade, CLICK HERE.


Story compiled with contributions from Mary Richards and John Daley.

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