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Rolling with OGX

The Ogden area system map for OGX.

The Ogden Express bus line was launched in Ogden on Aug. 20, just prior to the beginning of the fall semester for Weber State University. Now that a month has passed, Utah Transit Authority officials are reviewing whether OGX is successful.

“The response has been amazing,” James Larson, senior communications and marketing specialist for UTA, said. “We are experiencing all kinds of ridership since the OGX opened. The ridership has been higher than ever.”

According to Larson, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Not just from WSU students and faculty, but also from residents of the county. UTA has seen a 300% uptick in ridership since the OGX launched last month.

“When we launched the Wildcat Shuttle last year, it took off quicker than we could have ever imagined and we knew a bus line was possible,” Larson said. “We averaged 65,000 shuttle trips and the lines of students wanting to use the shuttle increased.”

The response was great. Just two days after OGX launched, they were seeing all kinds of ridership.

“A group of UTA officials and I were riding the OGX one day and saw a group of 12-year-olds riding the OGX to go to the Larry H. Miller,” Larson said. “It’s encouraging to see that parents are feeling safe to trust their children to ride the OGX to do these kinds. Local restaurants like Costa Vida have seen an uptick in traffic to their locations since OGX launched.”

Larson has noted that more WSU students are riding OGX than the previous bus lines that ran around campus. He also believes the uptick has to do with the fact that OGX is not currently charging a fare. The free fare is only short-term, as it is only going for the next three years, expiring in 2026.

Long-term, UTA would like OGX to do for Ogden what the Utah Valley Express has been doing for Utah Valley in terms of public transportation. The hope is that with this three-year small start, eventually tax dollars will allow for free riding for the foreseeable future, which is what UVX is doing.

Another benefit for OGX that Larson has seen is the 10-minute wait between rides. Previous bus lines that ran around campus would have a wait between rides. With that demand being seen, the hope is to shorten the wait time between rides to the Frontrunner eventually to a wait time of 15 minutes as opposed to the 60 minutes it occupies now.

UTA is even coordinating with the athletics and performing arts departments at WSU so that students and attendees know this option is available for transportation on and off campus.

Overall, Larson and UTA have been happy with the response that OGX has gotten throughout WSU and Ogden. They are hoping to see a shift in traffic and parking at WSU and throughout the state in terms of public transportation.

“We are so thankful for Weber State for being a great and supportive partner throughout this whole process. The OGX would not be possible without their partnership throughout all this,” Larson said.

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Tim Costello
Tim Costello, News reporter

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