OGDEN — It might be a slow time for the economy, but that isn’t stopping the Utah Transit Authority’s fleet from growing.
UTA’s Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to initiate a tentative operating budget for 2013 at its monthly meeting Wednesday, held at Ogden’s Union Station.
The agency predicts a jump of almost $15 million in its total revenues next year, going from a projected $290.8 million in 2012 to $305.6 million in 2013.
Although UTA officials expect more cash to come in for the new year, they also expect to spend more money.
The 2013 budget shows a spending increase of nearly $16 million, with total expenditures rising from $199.1 million in 2012 to $214.6 million in 2013.
Officials also expect systemwide ridership revenue to increase significantly in 2013, with passenger revenue rising from $43.7 million to $49.7 million.
Much of that increased ridership revenue will come from two new major lines opening up at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.
In December, UTA will open the second leg of FrontRunner, which runs from Salt Lake City to Provo. When that leg is open, passengers will be able to take continuous trips from Pleasant View to Provo.
At the Ogden board meeting, UTA also announced that the new 6-mile TRAX light-rail line, connecting downtown Salt Lake City to Salt Lake International Airport, will open for service April 14, 2013.
The additional UTA service comes despite continued slow growth in employment and retail sales both in Utah and nationally.
“Even though we have a slowness in our economy, things are still moving along pretty well at UTA,” board member Charles Henderson said.
UTA will increase base fares in 2013 by 15 cents, to $2.50. Adult monthly passes will jump from $78.50 to $83.75, and premium passes will top out at $198, up from $189.
The 2013 budget also includes a 4 percent increase in sales tax revenue from 2012, rising from $194.1 million to $201.9 million.
The full budget is available to view online at www.rideuta.com.