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The Utah Transit Authority is looking for interested citizens to serve on task forces that will help update UTA's 10-year plan.

Selection of task force members is taking place now and UTA hopes to begin gathering input before drafting "Transplan 2000" by the end of the year.UTA is selecting a cross-section of about 500 private citizens and civic leaders to sit on 10 task forces. Mayors of various cities within UTA's service area will host the task force meetings, which will focus on mass transit service in their respective geographical areas.

UTA's first long-term transportation planning project has "been substantially implemented," according to the company.

Recommendations identified and implemented as a result of that study include expansion of the bus fleet and routes, construction of park and ride lots, night service, ski buses and "flextran" vehicles for handicapped riders.

UTA stresses that the project will look at all forms of mass transit and not focus on the proposed light rail system for Salt Lake County.

"Regardless of Salt Lake Valley's light rail referendum, a well-conceived transit plan will enable UTA to better serve the needs of future transit riders," officials said. "This planning effort will focus on valleywide transit service that is responsive to local communities."

The UTA has hired a private consulting firm, at a cost of $80,000, said general manager John Pingree. UTA staff costs associated with the project likely will run another $80,000.