Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Here's what you need to know about the new TRAX rail line to Salt Lake International Airport:
• Service begins this weekend with a unique Saturday promotion.
• Trains will drop passengers at a newly constructed “welcome center” that is directly adjacent to Terminal 1 — the Southwest Airlines Terminal —which is also an easy walk to terminal 2. It means no additional ground transportation is needed once you leave the train.
• The trip from downtown Salt Lake City's Arena station at 400 West and South Temple is estimated to take 20 minutes, with trains departing every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends.
• The downtown free fare zone does not apply to the airport route. Riders are required to pay standard one-way fare of $2.50.
• The Airport Line is part of UTA’s Green Line, with service between West Valley City and the airport. Riders can transfer from TRAX anywhere between Central Pointe Station (2100 South) and Arena Station. FrontRunner riders may transfer to the new line at the North Temple Bridge Station.
• The six-mile, light-rail Green Line has stops along North Temple at 500 West, 800 West, 1100 West, 1500 West, 1950 West and at Salt Lake International Airport.
“The airport line is one that everybody is going to use, whether you’re an employee or patrons that ride for travel,” said UTA senior project manager Jim Webb, who introduced the new line to reporters in a media preview Wednesday.
“It’s also excellent for (local) businesses and people traveling here for hotels and conventions. The new line will be very convenient for the customer.”
The airport line will officially begin taking passengers on Sunday, but UTA will host “Food for your Fare” rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. The public will be allowed to ride between Arena station and the Airport station, with stops along the way, by donating cans of food. All donations will benefit the Utah Food Bank.
There will also be community celebrations, including entertainment and food at each station and an opening ceremony at the North Temple station at 2 p.m. Saturday.
UTA estimates approximately 4,600 passengers will ride the new line each day. Ridership is expected to increase to about 10,000 passengers per day by 2015 and up to 14,000 per day by 2030.
Under construction since January 2009, the new $393 million TRAX extension is one of five rail projects UTA has had on its construction agenda in the past few years. The others included the $535 million Mid-Jordan Red Line that operates between Daybreak and the University of Utah, along with the $370 million West Valley Green Line that will now operate between Valley Fair Mall and the airport. There is also the $212 million Draper TRAX extension and the $850 million FrontRunner South commuter-rail line that runs from downtown Salt Lake City to Provo.
The original combined budget was $2.8 billion for all five lines. The program thus far is coming in at approximately $2.3 billion, UTA said.
For more information, see rideuta.com.
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