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Utah Transit Authority awarded for leadership in equity-focused, innovative transportation for its UTA On-Demand service

Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has been named a “Leader in Equity-focused Innovation” in the 2021 Via Impact Awards, which recognize cities and transit agencies who have delivered exceptional service to their communities by leveraging Via’s TransitTech.

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December 21, 2021 (Salt Lake City) — Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has been named a “Leader in Equity-focused Innovation” in the 2021 Via Impact Awards, which recognize cities and transit agencies who have delivered exceptional service to their communities by leveraging Via’s TransitTech. UTA is one of two transit agencies being recognized with the award this year out of Via’s 500+ global partners.

In this first iteration of the awards, Via is specifically celebrating the impact tech-enabled services have had on equity, from providing high-quality service to riders with disabilities to expanding access to jobs, education, healthcare, and other opportunities. UTA’s On-Demand service, which is powered by Via, launched in November 2019 to provide public, on-demand shared rides for $2.50 to residents and visitors in Salt Lake County. Due to its success, the service expanded to Salt Lake City’s Westside neighborhoods (including Rose Park, Glendale, and Downtown) on Dec. 13.

New UTA On-Demand rider survey results and demographic data illustrates how the service is expanding access to affordable, equitable transportation in Salt Lake City:

  • 54% of UTA On-Demand passengers do not own a car, and use UTA On-Demand to connect to light-rail and paratransit services that link them to opportunities throughout the Salt Lake City metropolitan area.
  • When asked about how they would have made their last trip, most riders indicated that they would have used a more expensive or inconvenient mode, like a private taxi or a ride with a friend — but 12% indicated they would not have made the trip at all, highlighting the impact UTA On-Demand has had on affordable, accessible mobility.
  • In UTA On-Demand’s new Westside zones, about 1 in 4 residents live below the federal poverty line, and most residents are people of color.

“In November 2019 we were in southern Salt Lake County with Via launching our first microtransit on-demand service, and we are so pleased with how this innovative service has been received by our residents,” said Carlton Christensen, UTA Board of Trustees Chair. “Now, just two years later, it’s exciting to bring UTA On Demand to a second community in our region, with more service areas planned.”

“Via is so proud to honor Utah Transit Authority as a Leader in Equity-focused Innovation for our first-ever Impact Awards,” said Jason Starr, Partnerships Director at Via. “Our mission is to help partners expand access to equitable, efficient, tech-enabled public transportation, and UTA is a shining example of an agency that’s done exactly that. The Salt Lake City community should be very excited to be part of a city dedicated to innovative mobility.”

About Via

Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to develop public mobility systems — optimizing networks of buses, shuttles, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles around the globe. Building the world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all riders — including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and unbanked populations — Via works with its partners to lower the costs of public transit while providing transportation options that rival the convenience of a personal car while reducing the environmental impact. At the intersection of transportation and technology, Via is a visionary market leader that combines software innovation with sophisticated service design and operational expertise to fundamentally improve the way the world moves, with 500 partnerships in more than 35 countries and counting.

About Utah Transit Authority

Utah Transit Authority (UTA) provides integrated mobility solutions to service life’s connections, improve public health and enhance quality of life. UTA provides an integrated system of innovative, accessible and efficient public transportation services that increases access to opportunities and contribute to a healthy environment.

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