BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Booming Utah County, UTA talks future plans for public transit

Nov 22, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: Dec 19, 2023, 8:48 am

UTA's planning director discusses future possibilities to meet transportation needs in rapidly grow...

A southbound FrontRunner train leaves the Lehi Station on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

How will growth change Utah County? Tune in to Dave & Dujanovic at 10:05 a.m.!

SALT LAKE CITY — The UTA planning director discussed public transit plans in Utah County as the population in northern Utah County is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade. 

Dave and Debbie spoke with Russ Fox, the director of planning for UTA, about public transportation plans that are designed to help support the growth and traffic in the county.

UTA plans for Utah County

Debbie pointed out that Pioneer Crossing is already at overcapacity for vehicles. The crossing is the main east and west road in the area. 

 

The FrontRunner commuter line currently runs from Ogden through SLC to its terminus in Provo. However, Fox says in the future the line will run farther south to Payson. 

Also, he said the FrontRunner service time will increase to running every 15 minutes. The increase will take place during peak times of mornings and evenings. 

 Throughout the rest of the day, the line will make stops every 30 minutes.

Buses need their own lane

Additional plans will expand the Utah Valley Express line to include bus rapid transit, according to Fox. The new route would run from Point of the Mountain south through Provo and on to Lehi.

He added that the limited bus service in the Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs area will become full-time service by 2027 to accommodate more riders.

That said, buses get stuck in the same traffic that slows and stops cars and trucks. Therefore, a dedicated bus lane makes a world of difference in transporting passengers to their destinations, Fox said.

“That’s why we look at the bus rapid transit. If you are familiar with the UVX line, it has about 50% of, a little under 50%, of its dedicated right-of-way, and that helps move those buses out of the traffic,” says Fox. 

He said the plan envisions the future of growth, transportation and transit in Utah in three phases from today to the year 2050. 

“That plan identifies $153 billion in transportation needs and looking at what our future is,” Fox said. “What’s available to us is $113 billion in transportation needs. So that breaks it down by roads and transit and things like that. So there’s a big shortfall, and that’s looking out to 2050.”

Related:

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Booming Utah County, UTA talks future plans for public transit