Public Transit Justice (letter)

UTA Social Media

UTA Social Media

TEXT OF LETTER TO Utah Transit Authority:

28 December 2015

Delivered via electronic mail

Ms. Ruth Hendricks, Title VI Compliance Officer
℅ Utah Transit Authority (UTA)
669 West 200 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101


Re: Transit Amenities Equity Analysis


Dear Ms. Hendricks,


I am writing to request a copy of UTA’s most recent Title VI – Transit Amenities Equity Analysis. [1] I am also interested in obtaining a copy of the associated policy on transit amenities distribution. If these documents are already on line, can you please provide me the link?

Last year, I was asked by members of the Glendale Middle School Community Council to reach out to UTA and request that the bus stop located at 1245 W. California Avenue in Salt Lake City, Utah, be upgraded to include a bench and shelter. [2]

I passed on the request to Mr. Chesnut in the UTA planning department, at the time, I understood him to say the bus stop location would be upgraded. As of this writing, no such upgrade has occurred.

Earlier today, I noted that UTA posted an article on its social media touting bus stop enhancements on Salt Lake City’s eastside: “The stops will facilitate transportation to places like… Hawthorne and Whittier Elementary schools and local shops at 17th South and 500 East.”. [3]

The article goes on to state that bus stops on 1700 S., 200 S. and 500 E. will be improved to include new benches and bus shelters. Unfortunately, it appears that the majority of recent upgrades are isolated to one part of town. This is problematic in that the 2010 census tracts reveal a 70% on average ethnic minority population in the area of Glendale Middle School, in contrast to an average 10% ethnic minority population around the schools mention in the UTA media propaganda. [4]

“Transportation, education, and housing make up the three-legged stool that continues the vestiges of previous illegal (and legal) segregation.” [5]

As you are aware, unlike suburban commuters who use public transit for work purposes but also have the option of using their cars, many in my community are dependent on UTA’s various modes of transportation to get to work, school, grocery stores, health and social services, and other essential destinations. Simply put, bus service is the transportation safety-net for many communities of Color; Transportation Justice must be the order of the day!

At first glance, it appears that UTA is not placing amenities in an equitable manner throughout Salt Lake City. Yet, I remain hopeful that UTA’s equity analysis will demonstrate the Authority’s commitment to ensuring that no person shall be excluded from equal access to its services and associated amenities because of race, color or national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.



J. Michael Clára
Board Member, District 2

cc: Glendale Middle School Community Council
Mr. Randy Sorenson – Chair, Glendale Community Council
Ms. Marti Woolford – Chair, Poplar Grove Community Council
Councilman Johnston – Salt Lake City Council, District 2
Representative Angela Romero
Senator Luz Escamilla
Salt Lake City Chapter of the NAACP
Utah Coalition of La Raza
Crossroads Urban Center
PDF Version of Letter



[1] Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI; FTA Circular C4702.1B

[2] See attached photo of eastbound bus stop

[3] UTA News and Events: UTA and Salt Lake City Partner to Improve Bus Stops Along 1700 S. 12/28/15

[4] Salt Lake City’s Changing Demographics: A Brief Overview by Dr. Pam Perlich 04/2014

[5] Transportation Inequality in the United States by Marc Brenman

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