There is no question that the Wasatch Front has an air pollution problem. What is in extreme debate is how to tackle the issue. For their part, House Democrats have proposed a suite of legislation aimed at reducing the problem for some 2.1 million Utahns.
One of these proposals is Representative Joel Briscoe’s (D – Salt Lake City) HB 405 – Clean Air Transit Pilot Program.
The bill would create a pilot program focused on testing the viability of allowing people to ride mass transit for free in January and July – when pollutants in the air are at their peak.
It is estimated that free fairs would increase ridership by 40-50% during these two months. Furthermore, if residents opted for mass transit just one day a week to get to and from work, it would triple ridership – translating to roughly 240,000 fewer cars on the road during those heavily polluted months.
As you might imagine, the bill doesn’t come cheap. Briscoe sets aside $6 Million from the Transportation Investment Fund to pay for the pilot program and study effects.
With such a hefty price tag, and with time running short in this years session, it is doubtful that the bill will pass both chambers by midnight on the 14th of this month when the 2013 General Session closes. Hopefully, the bill will be considered and honed during the interim so it will hopefully be ready to go in the 2014 session.
To contact Rep. Briscoe, Click Here or call 801-583-2281
Impact on Average Utahn:
High Impact 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 No Impact
Necessary 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 Unnecessary
Great Bill 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 . -1 . -2 . -3 . -4 . -5 Poor Bill