Utah Transit Authority: Members: Clean Utah

Partner Level: Six Locations Along the Wasatch Front


The Company

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) operates a public transportation system throughout the Wasatch Front.  It employs a total of 810 employees.

UTA six Clean Utah facilities include Mt. Ogden in Weber County, Riverside, Central, Rail Service Center and Meadowbrook in Salt Lake County, and Timpanogos in Utah County.

The Process

UTA was admitted into Clean Utah’s Entry Level in March, 2006. To be accepted as a Clean Utah Partner, UTA had to first pass a compliance screen to ensure that environmental regulations were consistently being met. DEQ, EPA, and the Local Health Departments in Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber Counties each confirmed that is the case.

DEQ verified the facility has an effective Environmental Management System (EMS). DEQ staff and a multi-interest review panel reviewed the proposed projects and recommended the company be admitted. DEQ Deputy Director Bill Sinclair sent a letter dated February 5, 2007 advancing UTA to the Partner Level.

EMS Background

UTA is ISO 14001 certified and obtained third party auditing from SAI Global. Regular internal audits are performed. The EMS was verified by DEQ in December 2005.

Environmental Improvement Project #1

Goal: Expand the vanpool program by seven to 15% in calendar year 2007.

Approach: Utah Transit Authority (UTA), as part of their Rideshare program, has a Leased Vanpool Program. The Leased Vanpool Program is available to the public when a group of up to 15 persons, wish to commute to work together in a van leased from UTA. UTA refers to these groups as “Vanpools” and measures the number of Vanpools by the number of vans leased from UTA.

Impact: The UTA Rideshare Vanpool Program reduces air emissions by decreasing “Single Passenger Trips not Taken” with a corresponding  “Single Passenger Miles not Taken.” UTA estimates that persons using the Vanpool Program, on average, have a 20-mile commute one way per day, 5 days a week. This equals two “Single Passenger Trips Taken” and 40 “Single Passenger Miles not Taken.” UTA considers a reduction in single occupancy vehicle use implies a corresponding reduction in air emissions. The UTA Vanpool Program also helps reduce traffic congestion. Using the UTA calculated average of 9.8 persons per Vanpool, each new Vanpool would reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles by nine.

Public Participation: UTA operates a Website where information can be obtained about the program and how one can participate in the Vanpools Program.

At the UTA website, there is a link to the Rideshare website. The Rideuta website enables the public to plan trips, and obtain information about UTA. UTA also has a Customer Service Department that can be reached by calling (801) rideuta (801) 743-3882. A UTA Customer Service representative will assist a passenger on planning a trip.

The Rideshare website also contains information about UTA’s Environmental Management Program where it is summarized and posted under “UTA Info.” If a person wishes to contact UTA, Customer Service Representatives are available.

Environmental Improvement Project #2

Goal:. Decrease energy usage—to include installing digital energy monitors in each building, improving lighting systems, conduct energy audit at all facilities, and target a five percent reduction in electrical usage along the North-South TRAX Park and Ride lots.

Approach : UTA’s objective is to decrease electrical energy usage in all areas possible. This project uses baseline Kilowatt-Hours (kWh) per facility from 2003-2005.

  • UTA will install digital energy monitors in our buildings to measure kWh usage per building. Presently, UTA has installed three digital energy monitors in Building 1, 3 and 8 at our Meadowbrook facility, the largest of all UTA operating facilities.  The information obtained by monitoring power in distinct buildings will allow UTA to specifically define our energy usage. By December 31, 2007, energy monitors will complete installing digital energy monitors at the Meadowbrook facility.
  • Lighting is a significant source of energy usage in our facilities. By improving our lighting systems, UTA will reduce our energy usage. UTA has tested a lighting system in the Meadowbrook Brake Shop and found that the light (in lumens) improved five times over the amount measured using the current system of lighting. The new lighting system is expected to use one-half the electricity that our current system uses. By March 31, 2007, UTA will install the new lighting fixtures at the Component Rebuild Facility (includes the Brake Shop) at Meadowbrook, monitor, and compare electrical energy usage to baseline years. A 2% decrease in electrical energy usage as compared to energy used in 2005, is desirable as a starting goal. As funding and manpower allows, UTA will then continue to install these systems throughout their facilities and continue to measure energy usage.
  • Once a baseline is documented at a facility, UTA staff will set electrical energy-saving goals for that facility. Recommendations for improvement may be used to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) to help achieve electrical energy reduction goals. By July 31, 2007, at least one training document will be created to educate personnel to save electrical energy in relation to the established goals.
  • UTA will target a 5% reduction in electrical usage in the Park & Ride lots along the North South light rail line through reducing lighting in specific areas during non-operating hours on the light rail system. The Park & Ride lot does not include the station and platform area. The Park & Ride lot includes that area where passengers park their vehicles and where buses or other vehicles drop-off and pick-up passengers.

Impact: The Utah Geological Survey estimates that coal-burning power plants generated 95.8% of the electricity generated in Utah in 2005. As of November 2005, the Utah Geological Survey reports there are six utility power plants in Utah with a total nameplate capacity of ~ 5,000 megawatts (MW). The averaged total demand in (kW) from UTA is 1,508 kW or 1.5 MW.

UTA used 8,139,498 kWh or 8,139 Mega Watt hours (MWh) of electricity at our transportation support facilities in 2005. UTA hopes to reduce their use of electricity and recognize a reduction in their costs for electricity. The energy saved by UTA will become available to other electrical energy users within the community.

Rocky Mountain Power, the local electric utility, also offers incentives for those who install new energy efficient lighting. An additional environmental incentive would be to minimize the need to burn coal to supply Utah’s need for electricity.

Public Participation: UTA operates a Website (Ride UTA) where the public can plan trips and obtain information about UTA’s Environmental Management System.

UTA has a Customer Service Department that addresses the public’s concerns by using the Websites or by telephone number: (801) rideuta (801) 743-3882.

Past Clean Utah Goals and Accomplishments