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Utah Transit Authority (UTA) will test two alternative fuel buses over the next two weeks in Salt Lake County. Fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), the two buses will be tested for performance and fuel economy. They will be compared to UTA's new 2010 clean-air diesel and diesel-electric hybrid buses.

The buses will be tested for performance on roads and highways throughout Salt Lake County and in service on routes 39 - 3900 South and 220 - Highland Drive / 1300 East. Testing will begin Aug. 18 and continue through the following week.

Two different models of CNG buses will run on the same routes in rotation with UTA's 2010 clean air diesel and diesel-electric hybrid buses. The CNG buses were provided by two manufacturers in cooperation with other transit agencies. One bus was manufactured by North American Bus Industries Inc. for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; the other was built by New Flyer for Valley Metro in Phoenix.

In addition to CNG buses, UTA is investigating other alternative fuels, such as biodiesel and fuel cells. UTA recently added ten new diesel-electric hybrid buses to its fleet with assistance from a U.S. Department of Energy grant through Utah Clean Cities.

In addition, UTA's 2010 diesel buses feature new technologies that significantly reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions.

Source: Metro Magazine

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  • 11 months later...

Interesting UTA is considering New Flyer and NABI, considering they have mostly been loyal to Gillig for the past 15 years, and the fact that Gillig now offers CNG. The only New Flyer UTA operates are 12 1998 D60LFs and three DE40LFs, and the former doesn't really matter much since Gillig doesn't make artics. UTA does not nor ever has operated any NABI buses.

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The transit wanted to use other fuel source for its propulsion of its bus fleet instead of using diesel which it is heavily depended on for the power of it.

It is a PUBLIC forum, he can do whatever he wants!...........Back on topic, thats a great move for UTA, trying out newer buses. I wish i had the chance to go there, it would be fun riding buses form another city in Utah!

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Interesting UTA is considering New Flyer and NABI, considering they have mostly been loyal to Gillig for the past 15 years, and the fact that Gillig now offers CNG. The only New Flyer UTA operates are 12 1998 D60LFs and three DE40LFs, and the former doesn't really matter much since Gillig doesn't make artics. UTA does not nor ever has operated any NABI buses.

The New Flyers artics may be gone, they were spotted on public surplus some time ago in quite good shape all considering.

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  • 1 year later...

Not sure where to post this but, I was in town a few days ago, went for a ride on a SD100 and a S70. Unfortunately I didn't have any time to ride the Frontrunner comutor train, but enjoy some pics!


Check out double pantagraphs, any idea why some SD100 have them and some don't, and why they have them?









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Do you know which model was ordered?

Looks like Gillig '40 Low Floor BRTPLUS


The initial order of ten CNG buses is in the contractor’s build schedule with delivery scheduled for June 2013. A second order has now been placed for an additional fourteen (14) CNG buses with delivery scheduled for the end of December 2013.

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  • 2 months later...

UTA to start using natural gas-fueled buses


(article includes 3 photos of these Gillig BRTPlus CNG buses. Perhaps someone can import the pic of 13003 to the wiki?)

"We pay close to $400,000 for a [diesel] bus now, and a CNG bus costs us $450,000 in round numbers," Allegra said. But he says CNG costs about 30 percent less to produce the same mileage, considering all costs needed in conversion.

"The return on investment is only a few years," he said. Allegra adds he hopes to apply long-term savings to offer more service.

Allegra said CNG also is a bit cleaner than diesel — although he says modern clean diesel technology puts it "in the same ballpark" as CNG.

"If I took a snapshot today, CNG is good. CNG is better in some categories than clean diesel," he said. "But I see the technology improving in CNG."

UTA, which has 630 diesel buses, plans to have 24 CNG buses by the end of the year. Allegra said he hopes that UTA will have about 200 CNG buses in three to five years, or roughly a third of its fleet.

"We may go more. It’s hard to predict right now," he said. "Frankly the only limiting factor is facilities necessary to fuel them."

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  • 6 months later...
  • 7 months later...

The Utah County Commission is scheduled to take a vote Tuesday on funding for the Utah Transit Authority's proposed bus rapid transit project that will run through Orem and Provo.


This time they brought in brand new RTC 855 (XN60) to show off. Its on its way to Las Vegas to run in their BRT system.

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  • 10 months later...

Just out of natural curiosity... I hope to visit Salt Lake City sometime next year (possibly in the spring) and I was wondering what bus types are still active in the fleet? I know the Classics are all gone, but are any Orions (I, II, V) or Gillig Phantoms still active?

The 1996 Orion IIs are of particular interest to me, as they were originally ordered for BC Transit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just out of natural curiosity... I hope to visit Salt Lake City sometime next year (possibly in the spring) and I was wondering what bus types are still active in the fleet? I know the Classics are all gone, but are any Orions (I, II, V) or Gillig Phantoms still active?

The 1996 Orion IIs are of particular interest to me, as they were originally ordered for BC Transit.

I know there's isn't any fans out there, but to my knowledge their oldest fleet are their 1999-01 Gillig LF. Newest are their Gillig BRT and VanHools!

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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

New Utah Valley Express previews future Wasatch Front transit: $1 million buses designed to act like trains in exclusive highway lanes


Buses are pictured at the link. Hybrid Artic Xcelsiors with covered rear wheels. Most excellent.

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  • 7 months later...

Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is another transit agency in the Rockies offering surprisingly comprehensive intermodal transit service, offering local bus, commuter bus, streetcar, longer-distance light rail and heavy commuter rail service like Denver's RTD.  It's only drawbacks are as the following:

  1. Near-total absence of Sunday transit service in Utah County (Provo/Orem) except the route 811 TRAX (UTA's speak for light rail) connector.  I wonder if the Sunday ridership demand in that area is this low or it's more about funding issue (A hint for posters trying to respond to my query here:  The Provo/Orem area is heavily Mormon/LDS, and I wonder if the LDS Church strongly discourage Sunday work/entertainment).  Even the less populous Weber County (Ogden) has two local (routes 603 and 612) and one inter county (route 470 to Salt Lake City via Davis County) offering Sunday service.
  2. Lack of Sunday FrontRunner (commuter rail) service.  In my opinion, UTA could have at least run Sunday trains on the Salt Lake County section; or all-stops in Salt Lake County then nonstop to Ogden to supplement the route 470 bus service while not depriving the latter of Davis County passengers.
  3. Within Salt Lake County, anything south of Sandy Civic Center Blue Line TRAX/South Jordan FrontRunner and west of 4800W Old Bingham Highway Red Line TRAX stations is served with only Flex bus routes (cutaways on deviated fixed routes),
  4. The TRAX lines are the only Sunday transit service west of Jordan Valley (West Jordan) Red Line and south of Fashion Place West (Murray) Blue Line TRAX stations (except the aformentioned route 811 bus feeding at the Kimballs Lane Blue Line TRAX station in Draper)
  5. Service is not 365/7 unlike RTD, with ski buses the only services operating during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year days.  In my opinion, a metropolitan area like UTA's service area should have at least 363 days of regular bus and TRAX service (except Thanksgiving and Christmas days)

By the way, I am going to showcase the agency's family of rail service first.

The FrontRunner is UTA's commuter rail service utlizing MPI MP36PH-3C diesel locomotives pulling a combination of Bombardier BiLevel and Pullman Standard Comet I passenger cars.  Locomotive 9 is one of the eleven 2007-08 originals and is pictured at the Orem Central Station, while locomotive 18 is one of the ten expansion units and is taken at the North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe Station.  Similarly, cab cars 105 and 114 belong to the original and expansion batches respectively and are pictured at the same two locations.  Finally, Comet I car 314 is pictured at the Orem Central Station as well.


Onto the light rail/streetcar side, the Siemens SD100/SD160 high floor cars are used only on the Blue Line.  SD100 car 1008B is a 1998 original.  It and 2001 SD160 car 1028B are both pictured at the Central Pointe station.  Meanwhile, 2003 SD160 car 1038B is pictured at the Salt Lake Central Station.  They are followed by a massive 2010-12 order of Siemens S70 low floor cars.  They are mostly used on the Green and Red lines, but car 1124B made a exceedingly rare cameo on the Blue Line and is pictured at the Sandy Civic Center station.  Meanwhile, cars 1152 and 1174 are pictured at downtown Salt Lake City as part of Green Line sets.  1174 is also the final car built for TRAX use.  Finally, car 1122B is pictured at the Central Pointe station on the Red Line.


Apparently, the final 3 units of S70 cars are built for S-Line/streetcar use.  Cars 1175A and 1177A are pictured at the Central Pointe and Fairmont stations respectively.


Here is my UTA Rail gallery:

Utah Transit Authority Rail

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Now to the coverage of UTA's bus operations.  Before posting the photo journal on my sightings, here is an analysis of its bus operations.  UTA has 4 bus operating divisions: Central and Meadowbrook (Both in Salt Lake County), Davis/Weber County and Timpanogos (Utah County).  Other than some MCI commuter coaches, New Flyer XDE60 artics dedicated for the UVX (Utah Valley Express) BRT service, the 1999 Gillig Low Floor's based at the Central division and a handful of 2018 Gillig Trolley Replica's for Davis/Weber County; UTA's bus fleet is dominated by various Gillig BRT buses.  Its buses are divided into the following sub-fleets:

Its 64 MCI D4500/D4500CL commuter coaches are divided into 5 series of 12 X 2002, 15 X 2004, 20 X 2005, 12 X 2007 and 5 X 2009 coaches.  While I have no idea on where the 2009 coaches are used, apparently the 2005 and 2007 coachesare operated out of Salt Lake Central division.  The Salt Lake County coaches are used on the morning only route 2X to the University of Utah, the 300-series of Fast Bus services, the 450-series of Intercity services to Toole County and routes 901/902 SLC-PC(Park City) Connect services.  Meanwhile, the 2002 and some 2004 coaches are probably based at Davis/Weber County.  These coaches operate some route 455 duties between the University of Utah and Weber State University, express routes 472 and 473 to Weber County.  The remaining 2004 coaches are based at Utah County for commuter routes like 805, 811 (TRAX Connector) and 822.

The 1999 Gillig LF 40ft. are used on Salt Lake County local routes as well as the route 460-series and 471 to southern Davis County alongside other transit-style Gillig BRT's.  Apparently, they outlasted similar 2001 buses at 19 years old due to their Cummins engines compared to the Detroit Diesel in the 2001's.

The era of Gillig BRT's in UTA use begin in 2006, and these 31 pioneer 40ft. BRT's are now Davis/Weber County buses.  Thet are also UTA's only pre-EPA 2007 Gillig BRT's.  Meanwhile, the next 34 EPA-2007 sister buses new in 2007 are split between Central and Utah County divisions .  The fleet of 42 similar 2009 buses is split between Meadowbrook and Utah County divisions.  There are 5 single-door suburban buses that follow each delivery.   The 2007 buses are based at the Central garage chiefly for routes 500 (State Capitol Shuttle) and 516, while the 2009 sister buses are based at Utah County for longer-distance duties like routes 811 and 821 (stopping service to southern Utah County).

Its next 40ft. Gillig BRT's are EPA-2010 buses new in 2010, with 37 diesel buses based at the Meadowbrook division and 20 hybrid buses based at Utah County.  Then, there is a 31:9 diesel-hybrid split in the 2012 delivery, with all hybrid's going to Davis/Weber County and the diesels going to the Meadowbrook division again.  They are followed by 20 more 2014 diesel buses at Davis/Weber County and 57 more 2017-2018 diesel buses split between the two Salt Lake County divisions and Davis/Weber County.  Two 2013 Gillig BRT40ft. diesel buses are somehow outfitted as ski buses and based at Salt Lake County.

UTA's other Gillig BRT sub-fleets are 47 CNG buses, consisting of ten 2013 regular BRT's and 37 BRT Plus buses (14 X 2013 and 23 X 2015).  they are based at the Central division and are weekday only buses.

Its 35ft. Gillig BRT's are all outfitted as ski buses with sliding middle doors.  The oldest 9 of those are 2007 buses based at Salt Lake County.  They are followed 30 EPA-2010 sister buses new in 2011.  These are mostly based at the Meadowbrook division, but Utah County also operates a few.  Finally, Davis/Weber County operates 5 and 7 similar 2016 and 2017 buses.  I have spotted the 2011 and 2017 buses on regular route use during my September visit (well outside ski bus season).

The agency's only non-Gillig, heavy-duty, non-articulated buses are 14 Van Hool A300L (10 X 2008 and 4 X 2009) buses.  They are mostly dedicated on the 35M BRT route, but they can show up on other local routes operated out of the Meadowbrook division.

The 17100-series of XDE60's are the agency's first articulated buses since the 1998 D60LF's.  They are built to full BRT specifications with exits on both sides and wheel covers .

Finally, the agency also operates a number of cutaways in the xx200-series for its Flex routes (where xx refers to the build year of the bus) starting with a F-prefix.  I've spotted Flex route buses new in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017.  All but the 2017's (Ford E-Series) are Chevy cutaways.

Route wise, the regular Salt Lake County (numbered below 100, the 200's and 500's) are apparently divided among the two divisions as the following:

Central division only - 2, 2X, 3, 6, 9, 11, 17, 21, 209, 500, 516, 519, 520

Meadowbrook division only - 33, 35, 35M, 39, 41, 45, 47, 54, 201, 213, 217, 218, 227, 223, 232, 240, 248, 509, 525

Joint Central/Meadowbrook operation - 200, 205, 220, 228

Obviously, all the 600's are Davis/Weber County routes and the 800's plus the UVX are Utah County routes.  Finally, the Central division appears to share the operations of routes 455 and 470 (stopping Salt Lake City to Ogden bus service) with Davis/Weber County.

Photo journal coming up next!

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