FARMINGTON — While work is scheduled to start on the $100 million Ogden bus rapid transit project early next year, progress is also being made on a similar system that would run through Davis County.
Mary DeLoretto, director of Capitol Projects for the Utah Transit Authority, said the agency is applying for a Wasatch Front Regional Council grant that would help fund the majority of design work for a BRT line that would begin in Farmington and extend all the way into downtown Salt Lake City, potentially as far as the University of Utah.
Alma Haskell, grants development administrator at UTA, said the grant would total about $1.5 million. According to UTA board documents, the transit agency would be required to provide a match of $109,000. The grant funds aren’t set to be distributed for another six years, but Haskell said the agency could move forward with the design work, then use the grant to reimburse the costs. He also said the project could be reprioritized, receiving the money earlier than anticipated.
“It’s very possible and likely, and we’ve done that in the past,” Haskell said of the reimbursement route. “And sometimes (the WFRC) has the bandwidth to start projects earlier, if we’re ready to go.”
A project to improve transit service between southern Davis County and Salt Lake County has existed on the WFRC’s long-range transportation plan for several years now, though previously as a different iteration than the plan that’s being discussed by UTA now.
In 2014, the transit agency studied a project that would connect the two counties from the Woods Cross FrontRunner station, but the plan never materialized.
UTA Trustee Beth Holbrook previously described the current project as larger-scale than the 2014 version, namely because officials have determined routing the BRT system into Farmington is essential.
As the county seat of Davis County, Farmington is one of the busiest areas for commuters in the state. Interstate 15, U.S. 89, Legacy Parkway and the soon-to-be-built West Davis Corridor all converge near Park Lane in the city. That same area houses the massive Station Park retail center and will eventually feature a 250-acre business park.
The Davis County BRT would feature exclusive bus lane segments, similar to the route scheduled for Ogden. Construction on the Ogden BRT, which will provide a 5.3-mile transit connection between downtown Ogden and the campuses of Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital, is slated to begin in the early weeks of 2021.
According to UTA board documents, the Davis BRT project would total $16.9 million.