Letter: We can plan a system that will make Utah a transit model for the nation

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) A Trax train moves along North Temple in Salt Lake City, Oct. 27, 2021.

Rail transit in Utah has come a long way since the pre-Olympics opening of TRAX. For this and everything that has come since we can thank the Utah Transit Authority for their resolve over the years. UTA has built a system that we can all be proud of, putting our public transit well ahead of other regions.

Looking to the future, UTA is no longer alone in planning such projects.

With UDOT’s help, we can plan a system that will make Utah a transit model for the nation. UDOT is currently evaluating transit for The Point, Salt Lake City just received a grant totalling nearly $2 million to study aspects of the Rio Grande Plan, and Gov. Spencer Cox has given his support for a future rail connection to Cedar City and St. George. The possibilities are endless.

Every one of Utah’s rail transit lines started as an idea, those ideas now move tens of thousands of people every day. Today, ideas like the Rio Grande Plan, and the Utah Rail Passengers Association’s Link Utah are gaining traction. These ideas are ambitious, and rapidly gaining support.

We need a unified feasibility study of projects like these on a statewide level. I would propose a UDOT-led study to identify potential rail transit projects around the state. These projects could be anything from a short extension of TRAX, to a Park City commuter rail, to a train delivering tourists to Moab. Once a study is complete implementation of key aspects could be completed in time for a hypothetical 2034 Winter Olympics. Utah has never been in a better position to improve the way we get around.

Nathan Strain, Logan

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