Sugar House S Line streetcar arrives five years ahead of schedule

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Many residents were eager to try out the streetcar on it’s grand opening, despite the cold. (Photo by Suzie Fluckiger)

The S Line streetcar held its grand opening on Dec. 7, celebrating the transit connection between Sugar House and Salt Lake Valley to accomplish a trio of purposes.

“It was meant to help neighborhood circulation, be an accessible transfer to Trax, and to spark potential redevelopment of the city,” said Chad Saley, a Utah Transit Authority (UTA) spokesperson.¬†“Salt Lake and South Salt Lake both pushed ahead of schedule by about five years to find funding for this project.”

The S Line has seven stops that go through the heart of Sugar House. It moves at slower speeds to accommodate the neighborhoods it runs through and can be ridden with a Trax ticket. The rail connects with the Trax system at the Central Pointe stop.

The opening of the streetcar was celebrated with several events at different stops with games and food for riders. A donation of food was the fare for a ride and all food collected was donated to the Utah Food Bank.

Sugar House residents came out to the events to try the new transit. Local father John Gleason said he was at first apprehensive about having a streetcar go by near his house but changed his mind.

“They did a fantastic job with this,” Gleason said, riding the streetcar with his family. “The car is very quiet and actually takes me right down to my office. I think I’ll be using this most mornings.”

The success of the streetcar may lead to faster progression with future projects. Testing has already been put in motion to extend rails up to Westminster and further.

“UTA works hard to bring convenience to the people we serve,” said Remi Barron, the UTA senior media relations specialist. “Any project we do has extensive research backing it to make sure it helps the areas we build in.”

The Utah train system has evolved greatly in the last five years with the opening of the Frontrunner train spanning from Provo to Ogden, as well as more stops and routes. The UTA mission statement says the transit system works to give commuters an alternative to driving, as well as to promote a healthy, green environment along the Wasatch region.

To see the UTA train system schedule and stops visit http://www.rideuta.com/mc/?page=RidingUTA

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