The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) welcomes participants in APTA-TRB 12th National Light Rail and Streetcar Conference to Salt Lake City! We are excited for this opportunity to meet our colleagues from around the world and share what we have accomplished here in the state of Utah.
UTA is a multimodal transit agency that currently operates three light rail lines on 35 miles of trackway and 44 miles of commuter rail. We are in the midst of a major expansion that will grow our light rail system to 46 miles of track and our commuter rail system to nearly 90 miles. In addition, we are currently constructing Utah’s first modern streetcar line, a two-mile project connecting the existing light rail system to the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City.
Four new lines will enter service by the end of 2013:
* FrontRunner commuter rail from Salt Lake City to Provo, opening Dec. 10, 2012;
* TRAX light rail from Salt Lake City to the Salt Lake City International Airport, opening April 14, 2013;
* TRAX light rail Blue Line extension from Sandy to Draper, scheduled to open in August 2013; and
* Sugar House streetcar, expected to open in December 2013.
Once complete, the UTA rail network will serve the largest destinations in the state, including the Salt Lake City central business district, Salt Lake City International Airport, the University of Utah, and many others.
During your visit, we invite you to participate in the technical tours of several UTA facilities and construction sites. These include:
* Jordan River Service Center, UTA’s newly renovated 300,000-square-foot light rail service facility and TRAX operational control room;
* The Airport TRAX Line, a six-mile light rail line that is nearing completion. The new line is in the testing phase and will begin revenue service in April;
* The University TRAX Line, a four-mile line that serves the University of Utah campus and medical center. The initial segment opened just prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; and
* The construction site of the two-mile Sugar House modern streetcar line, which has already generated hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment in new developments.
Tour participants will have an opportunity to understand the partnerships that have contributed to the success of each project.
An Integral Part of Life
UTA has become an integral part of life for more than two million residents who live, work, and play in its six-county service area. Our network of trains and buses reduces congestion, lessens impacts to the environment, and supports the economic growth of the region.
The agency’s role in the community will become even more important to quality of life as the region grows and relies more and more on the public transit options we are building today.
Smart growth takes more than just adding more public transit, however; it requires the entire community to come together to plan for the future.
UTA is a key partner in an important regional planning initiative called the Wasatch Choice for 2040 plan. This strategy calls for placing one-third of all future growth on 3 percent of the region’s developable land. Centering new homes, jobs, and retail in urban centers and near transportation hubs would provide our residents with places where they can live, work, and play without having to own a car. This approach has the potential to reduce congestion and improve the environment while providing more choices for our citizens.
We’re excited to share with you our vision for Utah. We hope you will take the opportunity to ride the rails and see just a little of this beautiful state.
Construction continues on UTA’s Airport TRAX light rail line, which is scheduled to begin operation in April 2013.