UTA calls for Weber State opinion on transit options

The Utah Transit Authority is giving members of the Weber State community a chance to voice their opinions on transportation to the university in an open house on Thursday.

Map of a proposed rail system in Ogden that would serve Weber State. (Source: Utah Transit Authority)
Map of a proposed rail system in Ogden that would serve Weber State. UTA hopes to make the changes by early 2016. (Source: Utah Transit Authority)

The open house will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Shepherd Union room 313C, and will focus on the Ogden-Weber State University Transit Project Study. As anyone who has tried to park on campus knows, Weber is largely commuter school. The findings of this study will have a major effect on the options future students will have to get to and from campus.

The study is a collaboration between the Utah Transit Authority, Weber State University, Ogden City, Weber County, the Utah Department of Transportation, the Wasatch Front Regional Council and McKay-Dee Hospital to develop improvements to the transportation system around campus. The study has been ongoing since May 2014, and will continue through January 2016.

A partnership between Weber State and UTA over the last few years has allowed students to obtain transit passes at a very low price as part of their student fees. This semester, enrolled Weber students are eligible to get a pass for free. Thousands of students have already taken advantage of this opportunity and will be affected by the line changes that will be discussed at the open house.

The current suggested alignments would include new routes to Weber State and the surrounding area. These routes could mean better commute times for many of the students already using public transportation, and create possibilities for even more students to start using it.

UTA spokesperson Remi Barron said, “The two proposed routes would both service Weber State, but yet to be decided is what mode of transportation to use – whether it should be a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system or a streetcar.” These are a few of the issues up in the air that the opinion of Weber State students will help to decide. A study completed in 2014 details the choices.

UTA is committed to involving the public as much as possible in the planning, so the changes will end up benefiting the most people. They are hoping for a large number of students to get involved in the study, since the bulk of the affected public would be those using UTA transports to get to school.