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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis August 12, 2011
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UTA Inaugurates Service on Two New TRAX Lines

In anticipation of the beginning of revenue service Aug. 7, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) in Salt Lake City celebrated the opening of the Mid-Jordan and West Valley TRAX light rail lines with events Aug. 2 in South Jordan and West Valley City, UT. The public had its first opportunity to ride the new lines on Aug. 3.

On the morning of Aug. 2, UTA launched the inaugural train on a special route that incorporated the two new lines and a section of the UTA mainline: beginning at Daybreak Parkway Station on the Mid-Jordan line, shifting to the UTA mainline at Fashion Place West Station, then heading west on the West Valley line to its end at West Valley Central Station.

“Today, we are prepared to open two new rail lines: nearly 16 miles of new rail for Salt Lake County,” UTA General Manager Michael Allegra announced at the West Valley Central Station event. “With this opening, UTA will operate 40 new low floor light rail vehicles.”

Allegra emphasized the importance of “strategic partnerships that kept these projects moving forward.” He continued: “We couldn’t have done it without our staff, the contractors, and local leadership—who all stepped up to the table with creative planning and programming to make it work.”

APTA President William Millar joined other speakers at grand opening ceremonies held at both Daybreak Parkway and West Valley Central stations. He called the two new lines “another example of how of UTA is leading the way: even in tough economic times, you continue to expand. And your community recognizes how key public transit is to their daily lives.” He noted that UTA expects an average annual ridership increase of 6 percent with the expansion of service and called the agency “an excellent example of how public transit is integral to a community and a state’s well-being.” 

The following day, UTA partnered with the Utah Food Bank to accept non-perishable food items in exchange for riding free all day on the two new TRAX lines, a program UTA called “Food as Your Fare.” According to the food bank, this one-day effort yielded almost four tons of food.
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