Rapid bus transit line could be coming to Point of the Mountain

May 28, 2021, 2:53 PM
Weekend travelers join the traffic on I-15 at Point of the Mountain near Lehi on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (PHOTO: Steve Griffin, KSL)
(PHOTO: Steve Griffin, KSL)

LEHI, Utah — A Utah Transit Authority rapid bus transit line could be coming to the Point of the Mountain in the next few years. 

Getting the approval for a rapid bus transit line

State transportation officials note that Point of the Mountain is considered one of the fastest-growing areas in all of Utah and rapid population growth has created widespread congestion and heavy traffic. 

To hopefully alleviate some of the congestion, a rapid bus transit line would connect FrontRunner Draper to Lehi FrontRunner.

“UTA has a right-of-way that runs along the east side of I-15, which this bus rapid transit system would travel in,” explained Patti Garver with UTA.

Her comments come just days after the Lehi City Council passed a resolution supporting the project. The Draper City Council is now set to consider a similar resolution next week.

“That allows us to move into an environmental study,” said Garver. “The environmental [study] will take about two years and then final design and construction will probably take another two years.”

Closely resembling rail, at only half the cost

For those unfamiliar, Garver notes that buses in a rapid transit system are longer and often have road lanes exclusively for their use.

“It’s almost like you’re travelling on a train on rubber tires,” explained Garver.

In this case, separate lanes will be constructed for buses and the bus interior will closely resemble a rail look. Garver adds that not only is bus transit easier to construct and operate than rail transit, but it also costs about half as much.

As of right now, funding for the project includes over $5.7 million in Legislative appropriation. It also includes $500,000 in UTA 2021 funds. 

The plans come after UTA officials decided to ditch a proposed $1 billion TRAX line at Point of the Mountain. 

Supporters of the TRAX line claim it would better spark development in the area.

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