Utah’s Growth Companies are Embracing Active Transportation

This post was originally published on 13 August 2015 at PedalFree.net.

Utah Business magazine published their Fast Fifty earlier today.  This is a list of the fifty fastest growing companies in the state.  I thought it would be fun to pull the data and massage it with Google Maps to see how many of the fifty companies could be accessed without a car, using only a train, bus or bicycle.

Bicycles on Board: UTA's FrontRunner and TRAX trains are bicycle friendly.

Bicycles on Board: UTA’s FrontRunner and TRAX trains are bicycle friendly.  Photo by Ricardo630

The answer?  All fifty of them.  How incredibly cool is that?

I knew that my newly adopted home state was serious about bicycles and transit, but what’s especially compelling about this list is that it’s not being driven just by state policy.  While the state deserves some credit, the companies are driving this process as well…here in one of the reddest of red states.  So much for the popular meme that conservatives won’t support transit. In Utah, they already do.

Here’s the breakout:

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.43.48 PM

Train only companies are located < 1 mile from stations. Train/bus+bike companies are located less than 5 miles from stations/bus stops.

What’s going on in the Beehive state?  Well, earlier this year the Wasatch Front Regional Council of Governments adopted a long range transportation plan that views automobiles, transit and active transportation as the three legs of a tripod that will move the region forward, transportation-wise. While other states like California and Minnesota have embraced active transportation, nobody but Utah has given it equal weight as a transit solution.

The region’s FrontRunner commuter rail service and TRAX light rail both allow bicycles on trains.  Utah Transit Authority buses are fitted with bike racks as well.  The region’s outdoor-focused population recognizes that the car only model is unsustainable and is embracing active transportation in a big way.

Lehi FrontRunner station. Five of the top fifty are in walking distance. They include Boostabillity, iDrive Logistics, Partner Fusion, Solution Reach and Workfront.

Five of the top fifty are within walking distance of the FrontRunner station in suburban Lehi.  They include Boostabillity, iDrive Logistics, Partner Fusion, Solution Reach and Workfront.

eBay is not in the Fast Fifty, but they're corporate campus is bordered on the east by the FrontRunner and on the west by the Jordan River Parkway, a trail that spans the metro and connects to other active transportation corridors.

eBay is not in the Fast Fifty, but their corporate campus in suburban Draper is bordered on the east by the FrontRunner and on the west by the Jordan River Parkway, a trail that spans the metro and connects to other active transportation corridors.  Note: there’s no freeway in this picture.

Companies have noticed.  They’re leading the charge towards transit and active transportation along the Wasatch Front.  It’s no coincidence that those that are growing the fastest are choosing bicycle friendly locations served by transit for their offices.  They’re in a fight for talent and talent is increasingly choosing not to drive.  They can either ignore it or embrace it.

In Utah, they’re embracing it.

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