Excitement has been building in the months leading up to the soft-open for the new Utah Valley Express on Aug. 13. Some students around campus have much to say about the new transit line opening at UVU.
With its bus schedule fluctuating throughout the day, the UVX is intended to improve parking situations, satisfy transportation needs and encourage people to use public transit to reduce air pollution.
Found sitting on a bench at the Orem Central Station stop of the line was Mark Vance, a freshman pre-health major.
Vance said he has been riding public transit for two years now. With the weekday arrival times of buses being between six to 10 minutes, he hopes that this system will streamline his travels.
“It’s definitely a really, really convenient thing to have,” Vance said. “I was very happy when I heard they were putting it in.”
While patiently waiting to board the double-long bus at the UVU stop, Kayla Owens, a junior hospitality management student, spoke on her excitement of the shorter wait times.
“I like that it runs every few minutes,” Owens said. “I don’t have to time leaving work quite so perfectly anymore.”
Although it was her first time riding the new system, Owens adds that she too uses public transit as her main form of transportation. She adds that she hopes the new routes will improve her hectic work and school commutes.
With fare costs being compensated by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, students and their dependents can use the system at no cost. Junior vocal performance major, Conner Leavitt, says that even though he doesn’t use public transit often, the fact that it’s available is great in his eyes.
“I’ve talked to a lot of friends about it and it seems like everyone is excited,” Leavitt said. “I have a car, but I think I’ll still use [UVX], especially since the university will have free passes.”
Living near UVU, Leavitt adds that he thinks that the new system is a step in the right direction to improve transit for both on- and off-campus students alike.
As of Aug. 1, all UVU ID’s double as UTA passes. While construction of various aspects of the project are not yet complete, the new UVX line is up and running — spanning from the Orem Central Station, near UVU’s West Campus, to East Bay in southeast Provo.