Utah Transit Authority plans to extend FrontRunner to Payson

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Utah Transit Authority is holding public information meetings and making plans to extend its commuter rail service, FrontRunner, to Springville, Spanish Fork and Payson.

A map shows the proposed FrontRunner stations in Springville, Spanish Fork and Payson. UTA is currently holding public meetings in these cities to inform the public on updates throughout the project. (UTA)

UTA held meetings on May 22 in Payson, June 4 in Provo and June 6 in Spanish Fork. One more public information meeting will be held in Springville on Wednesday, June 12 from 5-7 p.m. in the Springville Civic Center Multipurpose Room at 110 S. Main St., according to UTA’s Instagram.

UTA said via Instagram attendees can learn about what to expect about the project schedule, environmental review and the locations of each station at these public information meetings. Janelle Robertson, project manager of the FrontRunner south extension, said the meetings also inform attendees on any updates regarding the project.

“We do all of these projects in partnership with the communities that want them,” Robertson said. “Just looking at … what their future transportation needs (are), and transit is one of those big needs that the communities see and UTA sees in the future as being very important to the region.”

Robertson said the public is mostly positive about the project.

“(People) are really excited to have the FrontRunner extended into their community,” Robertson said.

This plan is currently in the environmental review and preliminary design stages. According to UTA, the preliminary design is projected to continue through 2026. There is no current timeline or funding for the final design and construction of the FrontRunner extension.

The track will primarily be built on UTA-owned property following I-15, according to UTA.

The plan arose from the South Valley Transit Study, completed in 2022, which identified the plan as the “Locally Preferred Alternative” to increase public transit options in south Utah Valley, according to UTA. The study also recommended an express bus service from Payson to Santaquin.

“By 2050, Utah County is expected to nearly double in population, adding 660,000 more people and surpassing 1.3 million people total,” UTA said regarding the South Valley Transit Study. “Planning ahead for this growth is imperative to meet current and future transportation demands.”

Shawn Seager, the director of regional planning at Mountainland Association of Governments, said the study had long been a part of their long-term transportation plans to improve public transit from Provo to Santaquin in a public information meeting on Oct. 21, 2021.

“We wanted to take a step back and just make sure that we are looking at the right transit project,” Seager said. “That’s why we hired this team of experts to go in and back us up a little bit and look at transit improvements from Provo to Santaquin, try to find a Locally Preferred Alternative, something that everyone would agree upon.”

The FrontRunner currently spans 89 miles with 16 stations between Ogden and Provo, according to UTA.

Those interested in staying updated throughout the project can sign up for updates on the UTA website.

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