The state’s largest public transportation agency has begun piecing together a comprehensive plan to meet increasing transit demand, which it plans to present to its governing board today. The Utah Transit Authority laid out detailed plans to state lawmakers last month on how the agency proposes to develop its transportation resources to add more routes using various modes of travel throughout the Salt Lake and nearby valleys.
During a virtual meeting of the state legislature’s transportation interim committee, UTA Executive Director Carolyn Gonot told members about some of the main transit projects planned for the next five years. Director Gonot stated: “We’re looking at funds through the federal transit administration. The president has tweeted in the past about allocating $65.8 million to that project.”
Among the projects under consideration are a bus rapid transit route in Weber County that would run from the Ogden frontrunner station to Weber State University, then to Mckay-Dee Hospital. Another proposed bus rapid transit project would connect the frontrunner stations between Orem and Provo in Utah County. She added that Salt Lake City leaders are considering a project that would enhance public transit in some underserved areas of the city.
Building capacity in those areas will take time but, getting most of them developed, or at least planned for construction, will be a priority over the next five years. Since the beginning of the pandemic, demand for bus service has risen, especially in areas with many college students and young families.