The Utah Transit Authority and the Committee on Accessible Transportation (CAT) held its annual Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Celebration on July 26 to honor those who work to improve transit for people with disabilities.

The celebration highlighted the progress made at UTA since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act toward providing accessible and inclusive services to all customers.

UTA CEO and President Jerry Benson discussed specific accomplishments over the past year, including the addition of hundreds of ADA accessible bus stops and ramps throughout with input from those who use them. “In 2016, 61 bus stops were improved by UTA, with new ADA loading zones and other amenities. So far in 2017, 63 stops have been constructed with ADA improvements,” said Benson. “UTA has also surveyed and is in the design process for an additional 91 stops, with many of these still to be built this year. In addition, 1,200 feet of new sidewalk has been constructed by UTA so far in 2017 and the agency has surveyed and is designing another 11,000 feet of proposed new sidewalk with partnering cities,” added Benson.

Awards were presented during the Celebration. Donni Mitchell was awarded the “I Choose to Ride Award” for her efforts to use UTA’s fixed route services rather than paratransit services when possible. The “Going The Extra Mile Award” is presented to UTA employees who go above and beyond expectations in their efforts to provide accessible services to customers with disabilities. It was awarded to TRAX Operator Jon Lynero, Bus Operator Vincent Graham and UTA Police Sergeant John Pearce.

The event was attended by many UTA staff and members of the CAT Committee, as well as several members of the UTA Board of Trustees including Board Chair Robert McKinley, Trustees Brent Taylor and Trustee Babs De Lay.