New streetcar in Sugar House expected to revitalize the area

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The street car will have the appearance of the Trax train, but will only be one car. Photo courtesy of UTA
The streetcar will have the appearance of the Trax train but will only be one car. (Photo courtesy UTA)

A new streetcar called “S Line” with slower speeds and easy access will join Utah’s system of public transportation to connect pedestrians and local businesses in  Sugar House.

The streetcar is in final stages of testing, and authorities from Utah Transit Authority (UTA) said it will be ready for patronage on Dec. 8. According to a UTA report, the streetcar will connect Sugarhouse with “more than 130 miles of existing and planned rail services across the Wasatch Front.” Officials expect ridership at about 2,000 people per day.

A streetcar vehicle was chosen instead of a train to cater to the residential areas the line goes through. UTA spokesman Remy Barron said it’s a unique project.

“The streetcar is to connect the homes with the local businesses and more,” Remy said. “It’s expected to raise property value and help the community thrive.”

In addition to the streetcar, a new path for running and biking will open alongside the Trax. This is one way UTA has worked to incorporate the transit into the community.

The streetcar will be one car, with the appearance of a Trax train. Speeds will average about 15 MPH and won’t exceed 25 MPH to keep residential areas safe.

“Some people were worried about the car when it was first announced but have since been happy with where it’s been placed and built,” Remy said.

The S Line will open for the holiday season and is expected to attract shoppers and others. With frequent stops at local businesses, travelers will be able to see many parts of Sugar House.

“I ride Trax quite often,” said English major Lindsey Ker. “I might give the streetcar a try during Christmastime. It sounds quaint.”

The community will celebrate the opening of the S line with events including a “ride for free” day. The streetcar is hoped to revitalize underutilized areas of the city.

To find out more, visit the official S Line website.

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