Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson's administration has scored a victory in its push to have two light-rail stations along a yet-to-be-built rail connection between the city's intermodal hub and the Delta Center.
The extension, which will eventually shuttle commuter-rail riders from the intermodal hub, along 600 West near 250 South, to downtown, is running on a tight schedule, and there are growing fears it might not be completed by the time commuter rail comes online in 2008.
Anderson's administration pushed last week to move the design work of the extension along in order to meet the 2008 deadline. City Council members, however, were skeptical of approving the design work because several favor only having one station along the extension, saying another is unnecessary and would only slow the train down.
Proponents argue two stations are needed to help spur transit-oriented development in the area. A two-stop scenario would put a station at 125 S. 400 West and another at 525 W. 200 South.
Some council members wondered why the city would want to pay for designing two stations instead of one if, in the end, there was only going to be a single station.
The difference between designing for one station instead of two was $50,000. Others noted that if the city decides on one station, it might not be in the location of either of the two station designs, so the city then would be wasting roughly $100,000.
But a majority of council members disagreed, and in a 4-to-3 vote gave Anderson's administration the go-ahead to design for two stations. The Planning Commission is to consider the issue Nov. 30.