The first new FrontRunner station in a decade debuted Friday in Vineyard, giving Utah County transit riders another option for catching the commuter train.
Vineyard Station, located in downtown Vineyard, marks the 15th station in the train’s 83-mile service area that spans Ogden to Provo.
“We are excited to provide FrontRunner service to Vineyard City’s growing community,” Utah Transit Authority trustee Jeff Acerson said in a news release. “The new station will help increase mobility, connection and economic opportunity for anyone who lives here or visits this beautiful area.”
With a mushrooming population of more than 14,000, Vineyard has ranked as Utah’s fastest-growing city — by percentage — exploding by nearly 9,000% since 2010. The place, built on the site of the former Geneva steel mill, had fewer than 150 residents a dozen years ago.
Utah lawmakers approved contributing $5.6 million toward the new station at 130 E. Market St., while UTA paid nearly $17 million.
At a Friday morning ceremony marking the station’s premiere, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said increasing transit ridership is the most important step in taking air-polluting cars off Interstate 15 and other roads.
”We cannot keep adding lanes to I-15,” Cox said. “That’s impossible, so we have to think bigger and bolder, and that’s what we’re doing here today.”
Christopher Stout, co-founder of the Utah Transit Riders Union, lauded the FrontRunner addition, but said his group wants it to be served by more bus connections and more frequent train service throughout the day.
“Obviously,” he said, “a half-hour in the morning and an hour during the day is probably not enough service, especially in Utah County.”
He said he wants to see the FrontRunner serving the station every half-hour throughout the day.
The FrontRunner station’s opening coincides with an announcement of a new, 800-acre mixed-use development along the eastern shore of Utah Lake. The development, also named Vineyard Station, is a joint effort between The Flagship Cos. and Woodbury Corp.
According to a news release, the development is focused on sustainability and walkability, and provides Utahns options for housing, dining, shopping and worship.
Work on the project will begin this fall.
The new FrontRunner station comes barely two weeks after UTA opened another TRAX station, adding a light rail stop on Salt Lake City’s Main Street between 600 South and 700 South.