Council approves funds to market the new Hive pass

The Hive Pass is coming back and Salt Lake City leaders want to make sure that the new pass is more convenient and better advertised than the it was during the pilot program.  In Tuesday’s Salt Lake City Council meeting, the Council approved an additional $50,000 to the city budget to be used to promote the subsidized transit pass, dubbed Hive 2.0.

The Council approved funding for the relaunch of the Hive Pass in a March 24 meeting.  The new passes will be available to City residents May 1.  The Hive Pass pilot program launched in March of 2014 and failed to meet initial expectations, selling just 3,200 passes during the seven month run of the program.  The City stopped issuing the passes September 30, to reassess the program.

“It wasn’t the greatest marketing done,” said city council member Erin Mendenhall in a February 24 city council work session.

The majority of users of the original Hive pass were regular transit users.  Of the 3200 passes sold, only 300 were from new transit riders.  Some potential pass users where deterred by the year long commitment the original pass required.  The passes were sold for $350 for a year, or $30 a month.

Although less passes were sold than expected, the Utah Transit Authority attributed 160,000 new boardings between March and September to Hive Pass users.  According to a survey of 233 Hive users, respondents used transit more frequently after purchasing the pass with nearly three out of four respondents using mass transit three or more times a week.  Ninety percent of respondents said they would purchase the pass again.

Hive 2.0 passes will be good on all local bus, TRAX and streetcar lines.  The City and UTA will subsidize half the cost of the $84 monthly pass, making the cost for city residents just $42.  Instead of the year long commitment the previous pass required, the new passes will be month-to-month, with a limited amount of yearly passes available for $475.

Passes will be sold to Salt Lake residents at the following locations:

Salt Lake City & County Building
City Treasurer’s Office – Second Floor
451 South State Street
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Salt Lake Public Utilities Office
1530 S. West Temple Street
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.