Utah Transit Authority starts new, free Davis County trolley service

Friday , August 19, 2016 - 5:15 AM11 comments

MITCH SHAW, Standard-Examiner Staff

LAYTON — There’s a new way to use public transportation in Davis County — and it’s free.

On Aug. 14, the Utah Transit Authority launched its Midtown Trolley service — a free bus route that runs between the Clearfield and Layton FrontRunner stations and serves nearby hotels and restaurants, the Layton Hills Mall, the Davis Hospital and Medical Center, the Tanner Clinic, the Utah Department of Workforce Services and the Davis Conference Center.

UTA Regional General Manager Eddy Cumins said the route, also known as Route 628, was created through Prop 1 funds. The quarter-cent sales tax provides counties that approved it with annual dollars for road projects, sidewalks, bike and pedestrian paths, and increased mass transit service.

Layton’s deputy director of community and economic development, Kent Andersen, said the city and several other Layton businesses are also supporting the route.

A press release from UTA lists the city, Davis County, the Davis Conference Center, Layton Hills Mall, Tanner Clinic, Davis Hospital and Medical Center, Home 2 Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites, Marriott TownePlace Suites and Marriott Courtyard Inn as sponsors. 

“(Local businesses) realize the importance of offering people another way to get through this area,” Cumins said. 

Cumins said the route is ideal for locals, but it will also serve the out-of-town business class. Cumins said a person doing business at a place like the Davis Conference Center could fly into Salt Lake International Airport, take TRAX to Frontrunner, then use the trolley to shuttle through downtown Layton.

“They can fly into Salt Lake (City) and come to Davis County without renting a car,” he said.

The route is now served by UTA’s normal buses, but will eventually feature a unique fleet with a trolley car-style design. Cumins said UTA is in the process of evaluating bids on the trolley buses, which should be in service by late 2017.

The same style of buses will eventually be used on the Farmington/Lagoon shuttle route, and UTA is working on a proposal to use them in downtown Ogden, similar to the way they operate in Davis County.

The UTA press release says Prop 1 funds are also being used in Davis and Weber counties to add more trips to Route 455 and 473, which run between Ogden and Salt Lake City.  The funds will also be used for year-round service on the Lagoon shuttle.

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook .

Sign up for e-mail news updates.