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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, November 30, 2012

FrontRunner Extends Commuter Rail Between Salt Lake City And Provo

The new FrontRunner south commuter rail line is schedule to begin public operation on December 10. A line is already in service connecting Salt Lake City with Ogden. With the new line operational, it will be much easier/faster/more convenient to travel between major cities along the Wasatch Front.

FrontRunner trains cruises at about 79 mph, according to this Deseret News article. They have limited stops and so travel time should be quite reasonable – far better than driving I-15 during rush hour.

The Provo hub is near the center of the city, and the Salt Lake hub is close to that downtown area. I often drive to Salt Lake for meetings in the central city area and I will definitely be riding the train. From my home it is an easy bike ride to downtown Provo. From the Salt Lake hub I can easily walk to most downtown destinations, or hop on UTA buses (which provide free service in the downtown area).

Here are excerpts from the Deseret News article.

The $850 million line is the third of five taxpayer-funded transit projects voters in Salt Lake and Utah counties approved in 2006. The remaining two — TRAX lines to Salt Lake City International Airport and Draper — will open next year.

The public may take a free test ride on the new line Dec. 8. UTA is asking riders to bring as "fare" a nonperishable food item to benefit the Utah Food Bank.

As the train makes its way south, it passes through the marshy Jordan Narrows and offers sweeping views of Utah Lake to the west and Mount Timpanogos to the east. It stops in Murray, South Jordan, Draper, Lehi, American Fork and Orem. Travel time between Salt Lake City and Provo is about an hour.

"If nothing else, it's worth the ride just for the scenery," Allegra said.

Even as it opens the Provo-to-Salt Lake City line, UTA is already looking to expand the system farther north and south. Preliminary work on extending the commuter rail north to Brigham City began this week. Plans to go south to Payson and possibly Santaquin also are on the drawing board.

Here is a map showing the south line route.

– Dave Webb

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