MOAB, Utah (ABC4) – A new fare-free public transit pilot program is coming to the Moab area later this week.

Moab Area Transit (MAT) will offer a new public transit service for residents and visitors, giving them a new way of getting around the popular vacation hotspot. At launch, the pilot program will include an on-demand, micro-transit service as well as a fixed-route service that will run along Moab’s Main Street.

As a free-fare service, the program will be funded through a Utah Hotspot grant offered by the Utah Department of Transportation. Additional funding will come from the City of Moab and Grand County.

“Moab Transit Area will be an invaluable resource for all residents and visitors looking for new ways to navigate Moab,” said City of Moab Transit Coordinator Richard Lory. “A big step toward creating a more walkable city, this service will help to promote active transportation, decrease traffic, and increase accessibility.”

The fixed route will operate with regular stops between the Fairfield Inn on the north side of town to the Utah State University Moab campus at Aggie Boulevard. Moab City officials said the goal of the fixed route is to reduce downtown traffic congestion by providing a free transportation option that encourages visitors to leave their cars at the hotel.

The fixed route will operate daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from March 16 until Oct. 15. During the tourist offseason starting Oct. 16, there will be no fixed route service.

The on-demand service will also operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily from March 16 until Oct. 15. Starting Friday, Oct. 16, the service will have reduced hours, operating from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until March 15.

A fleet of 13-passenger MAT-branded vans will ferry customers to and from destinations. A van can be requested through the MAT app on both iOS and Android or by calling 1-833-MAT-FREE.

The program will launch with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, March 16 at 10 a.m. in the Moab Information Center parking lot.