Residents asked to weigh in on proposed south Utah County FrontRunner and rapid transit
Utah County has seen a variety of transportation options over the past century or so. In fact, in some cases, history is repeating itself. That is true with the proposed FrontRunner expansion anticipated for the southern portion of the county.
As late as the 1930s, a commuter train ran between Payson and Salt Lake City. Now, the high speed FrontRunner is ready to bring in the 21st century to south Utah County.
Before that can happen, residents must weigh in on the suggested route and other issues. To accommodate that necessity, Utah Transit Authority is preparing for resident feedback.
A study by UTA has identified a locally preferred alternative, or LPA, that includes extending commuter rail — FrontRunner — from Provo to Payson and adding express bus service from Payson to Santaquin, according to Carl Arky, UTA spokesman.
UTA, the Mountainland Association of Governments and seven city governments in Utah County partnered to conduct the South Valley Transit Study, an evaluation of options for providing expanded transit service from Provo to Santaquin in the southern portion of Utah County.
The study evaluated numerous alternatives and selected the LPA by evaluating factors such as transit ridership, land use, economic development, cost, potential impacts to the natural and built environments, and public feedback.
The proposed commuter rail extension would connect to the current commuter rail operations in Provo and would provide southern Utah County residents with frequent, high-speed access to Salt Lake and Davis counties.
A proposed route map with possible station locations can be found online at southvalleytransit.com.
“The South Valley Transit Study is a proactive effort to meet the demands of growth and mobility between Provo and Santaquin. With the current and expected growth of this county, we can’t simply add more vehicles to the roads to address the future transportation needs,” said Mary De La Mare-Schaefer, study manager and UTA regional general manager. “Transit solutions like this must be a part of the strategy to meet community needs.”
The study team and partnering city governments are asking for feedback from the area’s residents, property owners, business owners and transit users.
The study team will host an online public meeting to present the LPA, answer questions and gather feedback on the study, according to Arky.
The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21. Visit the study website to register. The public may provide input on the LPA in the following ways:
- Visit the website at southvalleytransit.com and leave comments on the interactive map.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Call the study hotline at 385-355-3133.
- Mail feedback to South Valley Transit c/o Horrocks Engineers, 2162 West Grove Parkway, Suite 400, Pleasant Grove, UT 84062.
Refinements to the LPA will be considered based on public input and additional technical analysis before being advanced to an environmental study for further evaluation in 2022.