Light-rail trains may someday run in Utah Valley - but not in the next 10 years.
John Inglish, Utah Transit Authority assistant general manager, said, "We are now doing some very advanced planning," but there is nothing definite.A few weeks ago, the Orem City Council received a map and some information about the possibility of the light-rail system going through the middle of Orem. Orem City Manager Daryl Berlin said UTA sent the proposal to him and asked for reaction.
Berlin thought the City Council should provide that reaction, so he took it to council members.
The council expressed concern that the system would require the acquisition of too much private land and it would be expensive and an imposition on residents.
But Inglish said the council received some misinformation. He believes the map came from his department, but he said he is not sure why Orem received the information so prematurely.
"We were not seeking any kind of decision on their (the City Council's) part," he said. And the proposal would not have required as much right of way as the council had been led to believe.
"We want to keep our eyes open for possible right of way where a system could be built," Inglish said. But there are many possibilities.
That does not mean people don't want the system.
"There has been tremendous support for the light rail statewide," Inglish said. Approximately 70 percent of people surveyed along the Wasatch Front were in favor of it.
Berlin said, "The idea makes a lot of sense for the future," if there is a way to do it away from the center of Orem.
Inglish said one prerequisite for a light-rail system in Utah County is the success of the light rail planned for Salt Lake County.
"I don't think much will happen in Utah Valley until the Salt Lake line is built," he said. "Then we would talk about one in Utah County."
For the time being, Inglish said UTA is negotiating with Union Pacific Railroad for part of a line - but only a portion from Salt Lake to Sandy.
It will segment the rail line, and it would seem logical to continue it to Utah County, he said. "But it is all conjecture right now."