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UTA introduces high-capacity, eco-friendly buses

UTA introduces high-capacity, eco-friendly buses. (Photo: Morgan Saxton / KUTV)

(KUTV) — Utah's air quality is a large topic of discussion among state legislators during this year's general session.

On Friday afternoon, three buses from across the state went on display at the Utah State Capitol to encourage public transportation.

Tours were open to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

One of the buses being showcased goes from Kimball Junction to Park City in 20 minutes. It is a ride that used to take almost an hour, Blake Fonnesbeck brags. He works as the Transit and Public Works Director for Park City Utah.

The Utah Transit Authority's newest eco-friendly bus seats 104 people. UTA will launch 25 of these buses this August for Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University students to ride for free.

Blake Fonnesbeck says the point is to show you how to save time and money, and miles on your car.

"Each bus runs about 370-miles a day and runs from 7 a.m. to mid-night," Fonnesbeck said. He adds that all six buses operated during Sundance Film Festival and ridership increased by 10-percent.

"You think twice before you go a number of places," said Mary De La Mare-Schaefer, the UTA Regional General Manager for Timpanogos, who knows first-hand the hassle of planning your route. She rode the bus to-and-from work for decades before working for UTA.

She continued, "With our buses on-peak going every 6-minutes, and then off-peak every 10-minutes, you don't have to think."

De La Mare-Schaefer hopes overtime, Utah’s air will start to clear as more people increase their use of public transportation.

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