Salt Lake City, Utah/North-South LRT
Salt Lake City, Utah
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has implemented a 15-mile light rail transit (LRT) line from downtown Salt Lake City along State Street then paralleling I-15 to suburban areas to the south. The line opened for regular weekday service on December 6, 1999. The South LRT line operates at-grade on city streets in downtown Salt Lake City (two miles) and on a railroad right-of-way (13 miles) owned by UTA to the suburban community of Sandy. The total cost of this project is estimated at $312.49 million (escalated dollars). Although the South LRT was estimated to carry 14,000 passengers per day in 2000 (opening year) and 23,000 passengers per day in 2010, current ridership has already exceeded 26,000 weekday riders. A total of 21 light rail vehicles have been ordered and delivered for the project. The South LRT project is one component of the Interstate 15 corridor improvement initiative, which includes reconstruction of a parallel segment of I-15.
FTA issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project in September 1994 and signed the Record of Decision in November 1994. In August 1995, FTA and UTA entered into a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for $237.39 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds. TEA-21 Section 3030(a)(74) authorized the South LRT for final design and construction. Through FY 2001, Congress has appropriated $236.68 million for right-of-way acquisition, engineering, design and construction activities contained in the scope of the FFGA. An additional $6.60 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds was appropriated to the FFGA.
Regular service on the line commenced on December 6, 1999. The system has been well received with ridership approaching 20,000 daily passengers. Construction is in the closeout phase.