UTA preparing to unveil transit plans for 2015-2025

Nov 9 2012 - 7:40pm

Images

FrontRunner pulls into the station in Layton with snow on the ground. (MITCH SHAW/Standard-Examiner)
FrontRunner pulls into the station in Layton with snow on the ground. (MITCH SHAW/Standard-Examiner)

OGDEN -- In less than a month, the Utah Transit Authority will unveil several transit projects it hopes to complete in the Top of Utah during the next several years.

The agency is in the midst of completing its "State of the Network" study, which examines the status of UTA's current transit system and identifies opportunities for improvements.

As UTA nears completion of its Frontlines 2015 program, which includes five rail projects and adds 70 miles of rail to the current FrontRunner and TRAX systems, the agency is "looking at what comes next," said UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter.

He said the network study will identify the next group of capital projects and potential strategies to deliver them between 2015 and 2025.

The projects will be released on Dec. 5 to the agency's Planning and Development Committee, Carpenter said.

"We have to start prioritizing projects for implementation right now. People will need transit in the future more than ever."

According to a portion of the study released by UTA, the population along the Wasatch Front will increase by 65 percent during the next 30 years, adding 1.4 million residents.

Vehicle miles traveled will increase from 49 million miles per day to more than 90 million during that same time period, making viable transit important for mobility and air quality.

In the study, UTA says it would like 90 percent of that future population in the Wasatch Front to be within one mile of transit.

Carpenter said projects on the list will be ones that will generate the most ridership, which means there is a lot of room for projects in the Top of Utah.

According to the study, the only Top of Utah bus route on UTA's list of the 10 top-performing routes is the 603 bus, which serves Weber State University and several stops in Ogden and has 2,400 average weekday boardings.

It's also likely UTA will focus on connecting transit to employment centers and universities with the upcoming projects.

Current UTA data shows that 77 percent of all transit trips are for people commuting either to work or to college.

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