The Utah Transit Authority announced plans Wednesday for the grand opening of its new Draper TRAX extension — and numerous scheduling tweaks throughout its system including adding more Saturday FrontRunner service, faster trips on the airport TRAX and improved bus service to colleges.
Also, UTA said that test trains should begin running within a couple weeks on the new Sugar House streetcar line. It is not scheduled to open for service until December, but off-and-on testing for several months is needed to certify the line and conduct training for operators.
The new 3.8-mile extension of the blue line from Sandy to Draper will begin operations officially on Sunday, Aug. 18. However on Friday, Aug. 16 at 10 a.m., local, state and federal officials will hold an opening ceremony at the Draper Town Center Station.
On Saturday Aug. 17, UTA will offer a “food is your fare” day. People who donate a non-perishable food item at one of the three new stations on the extension “will be given a pass to ride basically anywhere in the system. We will be having some community celebrations and activities at the stations as well,” said Andrea Packer, UTA communications director.
On Aug. 18, schedules throughout the UTA system will also be tweaked during one of three “change days” that it has each year. Details for specific routes are available at rideuta.com.
Among most notable changes are that the frequency of FrontRunner trains on Saturday will increase to once an hour, instead of about once every hour and a half.
TRAX trips to the Salt Lake City International Airport will be shortened by three minutes, and UTA says schedules on that TRAX line are being refined to reduce transfer delays between it and FrontRunner at the North Temple Station. Also, other TRAX line schedules are being tweaked to more easily allow riders to catch the final FrontRunner trains each day.
UTA is adding a new fast bus between Weber State University and the downtown Ogden Transit Center. Route 650, which will run every 30 minutes, will have minimal stops and allow students to reach campus 10 minutes faster than by using other local routes.
UTA is adding bus service during BYU home football games between campus and the Orem and Provo FrontRunner stations. Also, in Weber and Davis counties, route 473 will add a morning southbound trip to reduce crowding and assist commuters to the University of Utah.