UTA seeks comment about bus rapid transit line proposed from Davis County to downtown Salt Lake City

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) One of UTA's Utah Valley Express (UVX) buses makes a stop in Orem on Sept. 25, 2018. Officials are seeking comment about adding a similar bus rapid transit line between Davis County and downtown Salt Lake City.

The Utah Transit Authority wants to hear from the public about a proposed bus rapid transit route between Davis County and downtown Salt Lake City.

It is holding two open houses this week to show plans and allow comment from the public.

The first is scheduled for Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the upper-level cafe of Harmons grocery store, 135 E. 100 South, Salt Lake City. Another is scheduled for Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the North Salt Lake City Hall, 10 E. Center St.

Bus rapid transit is sometimes called “TRAX on rubber wheels.” It uses extra-long buses, and tickets must be purchased from machines before boarding. It has bus-only traffic lanes for part of its route and may receive priority at traffic signals. It also has limited stops to speed service.

Plans call for connecting the Woods Cross FrontRunner station through 500 South in Bountiful and down U.S. 89 into downtown Salt Lake City. However, UTA is gathering comment about possibly extending that route north of Woods Cross or east of downtown Salt Lake City.

The information will be incorporated into an environmental study on the project next year.

UTA notes that the goal of the project — currently called the Davis-SLC Community Connector — is “to increase mobility, connectivity and travel choices and promote economic development while improving environmental quality.”

A similar bus rapid transit route in Utah County, called the Utah Valley Express (UVX), is carrying about as many people — or more on some days — as the Green Line TRAX trains, which run between Salt Lake City International Airport and West Valley City.

UVX ridership there has been boosted by a federal grant that offers free fares for the first three years. The line also serves Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University, and those schools provide free transit passes to students and faculty. That line offers frequent service, every six minutes during peak times.

UTA has more than 200 miles of additional bus-rapid transit lines in its future plans, including from downtown Ogden to Weber State University, from West Valley City through Taylorsville to Murray, and the Davis County to Salt Lake City line.