OGDEN — There’s a new way to shuttle around Ogden’s downtown without a car — and it’s free.
On Tuesday, the Utah Transit Authority unveiled their third new trolley-style circulator bus to be put into service in Davis and Weber counties.
Following similar projects in Layton and Farmington, the free Ogden trolley runs every 20 minutes, originating from the Ogden FrontRunner Station, 2350 Wall Ave. Circulating around the downtown area, the trolley makes stops at places like Lindquist Field, 25th Street, the Ogden Municipal Building, the Ogden Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple and The Junction.
UTA Board member Beth Holbrook said the route runs from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Though a ribbon cutting ceremony for the service was held Tuesday, the route has been in operation for about a week.
Like the Midtown Trolley in Layton and the Lagoon Trolley in Farmington, the Ogden Trolley is a customized bus designed to resemble a 20th century cable car. Red, with gold and green trim, the trolleys are manufactured by the Gillig Corporation. The vehicles have solid oak seats and brass stanchions which according to the Gillig website, “combines classic trolley appeal with the quality and contemporary features of our standard transit bus.”
Though Ogden City contributes to the service, the route was made possible in large part by the Proposition 1 ballot measure.
The measure, which was passed by voters in November 2015, provides counties that approved it with annual dollars for road projects, sidewalks, bike and pedestrian paths, and increased mass transit service. The local-option tax was on the ballot in 17 of Utah’s 29 counties, passing in 10.
Voters in Weber and Davis counties passed the tax, but it failed in Morgan and Box Elder counties. The tax doesn’t apply to medical bills, utilities, mortgages, loan payments, gas, prescriptions or groceries. Forty percent of the total revenue collected goes to cities, 40% goes to UTA and 20% goes to counties.
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said a robust selection of transit options, like the new Ogden trolley, will play a key role in the Wasatch Front’s future. Caldwell said Utah’s population in expected to double, from just over 3 million to 6 million, during the next 30 years.
“How we move people around — to make sure we don’t ruin the quality of life that makes living in Ogden so unique — is a critical part of that (growth) conversation,” Caldwell said. “And obviously, public transportation is a major component of that.”
UTA is also planning to implement a $79 million bus rapid transit system in Ogden, linking the FrontRunner station, Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital.