By Lee Davidson, The Salt Lake Tribune
It's a lofty statistic that may help keep an improving local economy on track: The Salt Lake City metro area's trains and buses now rank as the nation's best in connecting people to jobs.
A new study shows 64.1 percent of the area's residents can reach a typical job within a 90-minute transit ride - a 10-percentage-point jump from last year, when the area ranked third nationally.
The improvement comes after completion of the new West Valley City and Mid-Jordan TRAX lines.
"Not only did those extensions help, but so did our redesign of the bus system at the same time," said Utah Transit Authority General Manager Michael Allegra. "We used the new rail lines to modify our whole system using a market approach, looking at what was working and what wasn't," and trying to take passengers where they most wanted to go.