Sugar House residents who ride the S-Line streetcar along its two-mile route from Central Pointe Station to Fairmont Station will have shorter wait times.

Officials gathered Monday for the ceremonial groundbreaking of a multimillion-dollar improvement to the streetcar: double tracking that allows more trains to move up and down the line.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood were among the officials who spoke during the ceremony at the 300 East Station of the Utah Transit Authority S-Line. McAdams said he’d “heard a lot of need” from residents about such a project, one that will add a double track between 300 East and 500 East and ultimately allow trains to run every 15 minutes as opposed to every 20 minutes.

He said those five minutes make a difference when someone is trying to get to a connecting station. “Transportation and planning must be integrated so people can get to where they need to be,” McAdams said about the double-track development that the county put $4.5 million toward last year.

The project is scheduled for completion in December, said UTA spokesman Carl Arky.

The S-Line was built in 2013 to connect the businesses in Sugar House and South Salt Lake to UTA services, including TRAX services and bus routes. It moves slowly, an average of 10 mph, and takes 12 minutes to travel its two-mile route.

Almost $5 million of local funding, along with a $1.9 million federal grant will pay for the double tracking. That is on top of the $37 million originally spent building the streetcar, makes the S-Line an expensive project — one that serves a much smaller population than other UTA rail services, TRAX or FrontRunner.

Steve Meyer, an engineer who was temporarily named UTA’s interim executive director after President and CEO Jerry Benson’s termination in April, said the double-track development is necessary to keep up with the residential growth that Sugar House and South Salt Lake have experienced since the line was built 4½ years ago.

Meyer told The Salt Lake Tribune that ridership has increased steadily since it originally opened for service. He said the S-Line currently gets about 40,000 riders a month, which translates to between 1,290 and 1,428 daily riders, depending on the month.

The Tribune reported previously that the average daily ridership of the streetcar in 2016 was 1,262. At the time, UTA officials said an environmental assessment that was done before the line’s construction projected the streetcar would carry 2,000 riders a day by 2030, but that ridership had been lower than expected due to delays in development after the Great Recession.

On Monday, Meyer said he expected daily ridership to continue increasing in light of 1,000 new residential units being built near the line and new businesses going up in the area. He said increasing S-Line’s efficiency makes it “so you’re not having more cars driving through the neighborhood” but rather “you’re having more people ride transit.”