UTA launches new fleet of electric vehicles for on-demand services

Oct. 19, 2023
UTA is replacing its gasoline powered vehicles with a fleet of 10 Ford E-transit vans.

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has launched an all-new fleet of electric vehicles for UTA On Demand.

UTA is replacing its gasoline powered vehicles with a fleet of 10 Ford E-transit vans, which seat six, are powered by electricity and are ADA accessible. As part of the transition, UTA has also installed 13 Level 2 overnight chargers and six  Level 3 fast charging ports.

The updated On-Demand microtransit service in Tooele County will provide affordable
transportation for a rural area that has seen ridership triple during the past year. The
switch to all-electric service will not only provide better coverage, increased access and
greater flexibility for riders, but it will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In the initial
months of operation, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates a reduction in emissions of 2.7 metric tons.

“Expanding public transportation beyond the Salt Lake Valley is not just about connecting communities,” says Kim Frost, executive director at the Utah Clean Air Partnership. “It’s vital to advancing a more sustainable and inclusive future.”

UTA has a five-year operating agreement with Tooele County, with $1.7 million in federal funding that already been invested for the capital costs of this project, which addresses the critical
First/Last Mile challenge preventing potential riders from using public transportation. 

UTA On Demand is an innovative form of transportation that connects riders with other transit services like TRAX, FrontRunner or bus, as well as to other destinations in the community. The app-based technology matches multiple riders headed in a similar direction into a single vehicle, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips.

Trips must start and end within the designated service area. After booking a ride, the app will display the pick-up location. On Demand is a corner-to-corner service, with pick-ups and drop offs close to rider destinations. On Demand is shared ride service so riders may board with others in the vehicle or stop along the way to pick up other passengers.

Riders are advised to plan ahead to provide enough time to reach the destination. Wait times can range between 15-30 minutes when there is high demand for rides. UTA On Demand is in four zones located in Tooele County, Southern Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City Westside and South Davis County.