UTA proposing $80M bus facility downtown
Transportation • New $80 million building would service up to 250 buses.
Published: May 31, 2012 04:17PM
Updated: June 3, 2012 11:17PM

The Utah Transit Authority is proposing a large $80 million bus maintenance facility in western downtown Salt Lake City — and may make its old, existing garage next door part of a new “transit-oriented development” not far from The Gateway.

UTA has released more details of those plans as part of an environmental assessment required for federal funding that it is seeking for the project. UTA is accepting public comment on the study through June 11.

The new Central Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility would occupy up to 18.7 acres at 750 W. 300 South. It would be designed to maintain 250 buses used in the Salt Lake City area, including a fueling and maintenance center for a new fleet that UTA hopes to build of up to 101 buses that use compressed natural gas. UTA has its first 10 CNG-powered buses on order for delivery next year.

That new facility would replace an existing one at 616 W. 200 South on 7.3 acres and maintains 110 vehicles.

UTA says the current facility near the Salt Lake Central Station for TRAX and FrontRunner is too small for its current needs and cannot handle future requirements.

UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter said the agency already received a $4.4 million federal grant for design of the new facility and preliminary work on the property.

The facility is projected to cost $80 million overall eventually but would likely be constructed in phases, he said. The first phase — which would cost $40 million to $50 million — would handle about 150 buses. UTA anticipates that construction could begin in late 2013 and be completed as soon as 2014.

UTA says in the environmental assessment that after the maintenance facility is replaced, it would be available for a future “transit-oriented development.”

How to weigh in

The new environmental assessment is available online at www.rideuta.com.

Public comments may be sent by email to pgarver@rideuta.com, by fax to 801-741-8892, or by mail to: Central Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility Project, Patti Garver, Environmental Specialist, Utah Transit Authority, 669 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101.

The Federal Transit Administration will review the assessment and comments to determine whether to issue a finding of “no significant impact” for the project, or order a full Environmental Impact Statement instead.