FARMINGTON The Davis County Board of Commissioners has lent its support to low-cost light rail as the preferred alternative for improving transit and transportation through southern Davis County.
Commissioners approved a supporting resolution Tuesday. The Centerville and Bountiful city councils have also approved a similar resolution.
Though the Utah Transit Authority and Utah Department of Transportation are waiting for similar approvals from Farmington, West Bountiful, Woods Cross, North Salt Lake and Salt Lake City, they can move forward with a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed project.
The locally preferred alternative, whose report can be found at www.udot.utah.gov/southdavistransit, includes light rail possibly in the form of a streetcar to run from the Intermodal Hub, located at 200 South and 600 West in Salt Lake City, north on 400 West, continuing north on Beck Street and U.S. Highway 89 to 2600 South in Woods Cross.
From there, the rail would extend along 200 West to 400 North, where it would head east to Main Street in Centerville and run to somewhere near Parrish Lane.
For most of the route, the light rail travels in a dedicated space, but in a few spots, it shares its travel lane with cars.
An enhanced bus service would be implemented to take riders from that point to the Farmington FrontRunner commuter rail station.
"We've been studying this a long time," said Bountiful Mayor Joe Johnson, adding that he has some concerns with a light-rail vehicle running next to regular vehicles.
But, he said, the study was nicely done and he's glad his council supported it.
Kerry Doane, the South Davis Transit Study's project manager and a strategic planner with UTA, said this approval from local governments is an early step in the process.
"We need to go through this step to have a project," Doane said.
Conceptual engineering needs to be completed before UDOT and UTA can submit the project to the Federal Transit Administration for evaluation.
Doane said its too early to even guess how many years the project will take from this point. But the draft environmental impact statement could be completed in the next year or so.According to the preferred alternative report, the project is estimated to cost $440 million, with $3.8 million in annual operating costs, and would have 16 stations including the Intermodal Hub and Farmington commuter rail station.