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UTA Moves 2050 project enters final stretch of feedback-gathering phase

By Rob Nielsen - | Aug 30, 2023

Rob Nielsen, Standard-Examiner

Leo Masic, right, customer experience planner with the Utah Transit Authority, discusses the UTA Moves 2050 plan with a resident during an open house at Weber State University on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023.

OGDEN — A few simple maps are giving residents the opportunity to shape the Utah Transit Authority’s next two and a half decades of priorities.

UTA held an open house Tuesday evening at Weber State University to gather feedback from members of the community on what projects and facets of public transportation they’d like to see UTA focus on in the long term.

Leo Masic, customer experience planner with UTA, told the Standard-Examiner that the agency is looking for the blueprint of its future.

“We’re trying to establish a long-term vision about how to grow and expand our transit network,” he said. “We want to have a blueprint we can look toward as the Wasatch Front grows and changes.”

He said this is where UTA Moves 2050 comes in.

“We’ve used population projections and demographic projects to build a plan as far as where we are we going to put increased bus service, where might we preserve additional corridors for future rail serve, where might we introduce these innovative mobility zones,” he said. “What we’re here to do today is ask the public, ‘What are your priorities?'”

Masic said UTA wants to get a firm grip on priorities because there are some realities it must face.

“At the end of the day, there’s a really good likelihood that we’re going to be financially constrained by 2050, so we need to have a better idea through public input what folks’ priorities are.”

Drafting of UTA Moves 2050 began in 2021 and has completed a number of steps so far.

“We started with talking with our municipal stakeholders — the various cities that comprise of UTA’s service area — and then did that preliminary data collection to inform population projections, demographics, future growth,” Masic said. “Now we’re sort of in this community engagement portion of the timeline where we’ve developed the UTA Moves 2050 plan, and now we’re here to vet it with the public.”

He said the intent is to make a very fluid plan out of what is compiled.

“This is not finalized,” he said. “By the time the fall hits, that’s when the draft plan will be available to the public for additional feedback, and we’re going to finalize it in the fall. The thing that folks also need to keep in mind is that this is a living document. It’ll be updated every four years. Things obviously change as time goes on. … We just want to make sure that we’re nimble and we’re not stuck with something that might not work.”

During Tuesday’s event, maps and Post-It notes were set out allowing people to make their own suggestions. Some suggestions included expansion and electrification of the FrontRunner system and additional bus services.

For more information on UTA Moves 2050, visit https://bit.ly/45MU7vp.


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