FARMINGTON -- Moving people more freely between Salt Lake and Davis counties through the use of public transit is a significant enough traffic concern that county officials are willing to help fund a south Davis County transit study.
The Davis County Commission recently agreed to put $7,500 toward the South Davis County Alternatives Analysis, a Utah Transit Authority study that will look at creating a regional public transit plan with Salt Lake City.
The county's contribution to the study, to begin in 2013, is part of a collective pool of $60,000 to which local entities will contribute. The pool money will provide the matching funds necessary to qualify for an additional $360,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration.
The total cost of the study will be $420,000. The study will look at such alternatives as bus rapid transit or a guided rail system, said Davis County Community and Economic Development Director Kent Sulser.
The study will consist of data collection and an analysis of the public transportation alternatives that are available.
In addition to Davis County's participation, the Wasatch Front Regional Council is putting $7,500 toward the study, while North Salt Lake will provide $15,000.
Salt Lake City will provide the remaining $30,000 needed to receive the FTA grant, Sulser said.
Supporting the study is important for the county as more of its residents are looking to public transit as part of another dynamic in their lifestyle, said Davis County Commissioner Bret Millburn.
The study will look at creating a public transit system that could link south Davis County to the regional transportation hubs in Salt Lake City and North Salt Lake, said Manager Barry Edwards.
"We don't know exactly where it is going to end up," he said.
"The city's position is that it is close in proximity to Salt Lake City, but outside of bus route (service), the city does not have a transportation link with Salt Lake City."
Even with the FrontRunner rail line passing through their city, Edwards said, the roughly 7,000 North Salt Lake commuters have to go north to Woods Cross to access the train going south into Salt Lake City.
"North Salt Lake has an inadequate connection to the public transit system along the Wasatch Front," Edwards said of the city of about 17,000 residents.
Because North Salt Lake businesses provide employment to about 12,000 workers, 10,000 of whom live outside the city -- many from the Salt Lake City area -- linking North Salt Lake with Salt Lake County would also prove to be beneficial for others, Edwards said.
"The demand for into (the city) and the demand for out (of the city) kind of equal each other."
Investing $15,000 in a study seems reasonable when looking at making a regional connection with Salt Lake City, Edwards said.
"We would like to think that it would put us in a position to have a viable transportation alternative."