Some employees who work at the Salt Lake County Government Center may soon be enticed to find another way to get to work.
Last week the county's executive council gave a task force authority to devise a plan to help the county do its share in reducing air pollution. There are about 1,000 employees who work at the county complex. More than three-quarters drive alone to work, a recent survey showed."What we are doing is increasing the number of people in cars that commute and providing incentives to carpool," said Arlene Johnson, director of facilities management and member of the task force.
In the past session, the Legislature told government employers with more than 33 employees who arrive at work in morning hours to implement plans to reduce automobile travel by 20 percent. The deadline is May 1995.
The trip-reduction mandate is linked to efforts by state officials to reduce air pollution. Without reduction in pollutants, particularly, ozone, the federal government has threatened to cutoff federal highway funds.
The ideas being considered by Salt Lake County include making it easier to carpool, giving better parking spaces to car-poolers and offering free bus passes.
Salt Lake County employees will be eligible for free Utah Transit Authority bus passes in January 1995. The trial program, paid for with federal transportation funds, will last two years. The federal government will spend $47,000 on the program; Salt Lake County will spend about $3,300.
Under the carpool preference-parking plan, stalls for carpoolers would be assigned close to stairways in the government center's parking structure. The county also plans to keep a database to match would-be carpoolers.
To encourage bus use and participation in carpools the county may offer a guaranteed ride home program. The program would offer rides home in case of emergency such as illness, illness of a family member or family crisis.