Salt Lake City Bucks Stereotypes to Lead Country in Transit Spending

It's remote, it's small, and it's situated in a decidedly red state. So why in the world does Salt Lake City lead the U.S. in per-capita transit spending? Angie Schmitt explains the city's unlikely story.

"It’s number one in the nation in per-capita transit spending. The only city in the country building light rail, bus rapid transit, streetcars and commuter rail at the same time. And that city — Salt Lake City — is a town of just over 180,000 in a remote setting in a red state." 

Schmitt recounts the "remarkable story that began in the 1990s, when an organization called Envision Utah facilitated a regional visioning process and created a plan that has been recognized as one of the most promising smart growth models in the nation." 

“How is it that the most conservative state… how is it they’re one of the most progressive in the country on transit?” said Dee Allsop of the communications firm Hart and Mind Strategies. “It’s because the case was made in a way that fit with people’s values.”

"The values they settled on were to have a city that was 'beautiful, prosperous and neighborly.'”

Full Story: Salt Lake City: How a Remote Red-State City Became a Transit Leader


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.