SOUTH JORDAN — City leaders in South Jordan and Sandy invited residents to meet with Utah Transit Authority officials and transit users Wednesday night to discuss the possibilities of a circulator bus system that could connect the cities.

"People … seem to be more transit-oriented than they have in the past," said Brian Preece, South Jordan's director of city commerce.

The circulator bus system could potentially connect FrontRunner and TRAX in parts of South Jordan and Sandy. The discussions come early in the planing phases, and UTA has yet to identify a route.

"The goal is just to find out if there is or is not a need for bus service in the area," Preece said of Wednesday's meeting.

According to UTA, the areas are included in a study that began in March and is expected to be completed in March 2015 to help determine transit needs.

In Sandy, the studied areas are from 9000 South on the north, 10600 South on the south, and the Sandy Civic Center TRAX station on the east to the South Jordan FrontRunner station on the west.

In South Jordan, the study areas are from the South Jordan FrontRunner station on the east to 1300 West on the west, and from 9800 South on the north and 1140 South on the south.

UTA spokesman Remi Barron said nothing at this point has been decided. The first step in the process is to let the public know about the study and find out how interested residents are in a circulator bus route.

"We want to hear from people," Barron said. "We want people to tell us what they think about where routes should go and maybe where they shouldn't go."

If the public expresses interest, UTA will consider possible routes to be taken back to residents for consideration, he said. Those options will be narrowed down, and the public will have another opportunity to discuss routes with UTA officials.

"It's kind of a long process where people would have multiple opportunities to express their views," Barron said.

The studies of the cities are designed to determine the "transit travel market" in Sandy and South Jordan, according to the UTA website, by taking an inventory of demographic, economic and transportation data. The study will also include land use, zoning and other municipal data.

Preece said he believes there is a need for more transit opportunities in the area.

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"There's over 4,000 people that work in the RiverPark Corporate Center there in South Jordan, and it's a little too far away to walk," he said. "We've talked to those businesses in the past and felt that there's a need for some kind of a circulator to get people back and forth to the FrontRunner station."

South Jordan officials are working with Sandy on a potential bus route, he said.

"East-west travel anywhere in the valley is hard. It's congested," Preece said.

He also said he believes adding more transit opportunities in the area would bring more business.

"It would mean more jobs for people closer to home and cleaner air," Preece said.