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Salt Lake City - June 2004
   

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Salt Lake City, UT — Streetcar Loop

Rail Transit Online, June 2004

Streetcars could once again be running in Salt Lake City under a plan developed by Mayor Rocky Anderson and the Utah Transit Authority.  Modern trolleys would operate a loop around the central business district using current and proposed TRAX light rail routes plus seven blocks of new track along 400 West and 700 South.  The new service would act as a downtown circulator and transit connector, linking light rail and bus routes, and could stimulate the same kind of development that occurred in Portland.  “Unlike buses, rail transit can have tremendous land-use impacts,” D.J. Baxter, Anderson's transportation adviser, told The Salt Lake Tribune.  “Since a bus can be rerouted at the drop of a hat, no savvy investor is going to make development decisions based on bus routes.  But streetcars are fixed, permanent.  And a streetcar, combined with the right kind of land-use policies and zoning, can lead to very aggressive private investment in urban development — particularly in terms of housing.”  Anderson has requested that the city council and UTA each pay half the $165,000 cost of a feasibility study.  Much of the track is already in place, and a planned TRAX extension to a new intermodal transit center will provide another segment.  “They've always talked about a circulator for downtown, which is why we have the free fare zone,” UTA Director of Rail Operations Mike Allegra told the Tribune.  “That has largely been successful, but it works only on the major streets.  We're trying to figure out how to reconnect the rest of the dots.  This would be a response to that need.” 

Web site: www.utabus.com

 

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