December 6, 2013

Utah opens first segment of $55M streetcar

The Federal Transit Administration participated in the opening of the first segment of the Sugar House Streetcar line in a corridor that is ripe for redevelopment. The new service connects thousands of area residents with local employers, shops and area attractions while spurring millions of dollars in residential and retail development along the route.

The $55 million project was funded in part by a $26 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) discretionary grant. The remaining funds were provided locally.

Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff joined Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, South Salt Lake City Mayor Cherie Wood and other local officials at the opening celebration, which included a streetcar ride with stops in both Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake City.

“As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, Utah has successfully embraced public transportation as an effective way to meet rising demand for affordable, reliable access to jobs, medical care, education and other opportunities,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “TIGER-funded projects like the Sugar House Streetcar make a strong case for investing in our nation’s transportation infrastructure.”

The initial two-mile streetcar line, dubbed the S-Line, connects riders with the Central Pointe Station on the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) TRAX light rail line on the west end and the Sugar House commercial business district on the east end, with seven stops along the way.

The line, surrounded by parkland and walking trails, offers easy connections to more than 130 miles of existing and planned rail transit throughout the region. More than $400 million in construction for new or redeveloped housing, retail, and office space is completed or underway in the Sugar House Business District, with millions of dollars more in development planned for the South Salt Lake City end. The project has created roughly 700 construction-related jobs. UTA and Salt Lake City are planning two extensions to the streetcar line in the future.

The Sugar House Streetcar project complements UTA’s FrontLines 2015 Program — a roughly $2.5-billion effort to build 70 miles of rail in seven years. In August 2013, UTA opened the final rail transit project in the FrontLines 2015 program, capping the Federal Transit Administration’s $570-million commitment to an extensive mix of regional commuter and light rail service.

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