Thank you for your input on the transit study!
The transit study was completed to address population and traffic projections for 2050, since we know we will not be able to rely on cars alone to keep people moving between Sugar House, South Salt Lake, Millcreek and Holladay in the future.
Based on initial public feedback and transportation priorities identified by our partnering cities, the transit study team analyzed four types of transit options (streetcar, light rail, bus rapid transit and enhanced bus) along two routes (1300 East and Highland Drive). The public was provided a chance to weigh in on these options with a survey that was open from March 22 to April 22, 2021, and June 21 to July, 27, 2021. In addition, the public has been able to provide feedback via email and the study hotline for the duration of the study from March 2021 through April 2022.
Based on screening criteria and public, steering committee and stakeholder input, the recommended locally preferred alternative (LPA) for Highland Drive is enhanced bus with a long-term transition to streetcar. Beginning with enhanced bus would allow streetscape and transit improvements to begin more quickly. These improvements could include bus electrification, transit signal priority, enhanced bus stops that make room for expanded streetcar stations, and pedestrian and bicycle connections. Both the enhanced bus and streetcar solutions share a lane with vehicles, which would greatly minimize potential property impacts.
The study team is working to present this recommended LPA and phasing approach to all four partnering city councils for input and approval. If the cities adopt the recommended LPA, the study team will work with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) to incorporate it into their long-term transportation plans.
Enhanced bus operations could be implemented in less than five years. Salt Lake City and Millcreek have active multimodal projects underway to improve bus stops along Highland Drive from Sugar House Business District to 3300 South. Enhanced bus service could be implemented once funding is prioritized for the increase in service along the locally preferred alternative and enhancements to bus stops from 3300 South to Holladay could be advanced as funding is available.
The timeline to implement streetcar could be longer as the investment needed to construct and operate the streetcar alternative is substantially more than enhanced bus. It is likely that a combination of local, state, and federal funding would be needed in order to fund the streetcar alternative. A key aspect of enhanced bus and streetcar implementation will be a continuation of public outreach as the project moves forward.
For more information and to view the final report, please click here.