Potential Sugar House Transit Implications of UTA’s Masterplan
Aug 14, 2015 10h32
● By Bryan Scott
By Nathan Turner
In December 2013, UTA’s Sugar House rail system, the S-Line, opened service connecting Sugar House to the rest of the city. Now, UTA and the city are taking public input on the area’s public transportation masterplan.
The Sugar House S-Line travels from Central Pointe TRAX Station in South Salt Lake to the commercial business district of Sugar House near Highland Drive. The second phase of the S-line plan would extend to Highland drive and 2100 South.
“Really, they should have a transit masterplan before they do any of this,” Amy Barry, the Sugar House Community Council chair, said. “They’ve had the funding to do a masterplan since 2012 and it’s only just now that they decided to do it.”
Barry said that they have to get approved for the TIGER Grant to do the second phase of the S-line. “It depends on if they get that. If they don’t, then, well, there’s no money.”
UTA’s masterplan will impact all of Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City, but bus routes and the S-Line will have the biggest implications for the Sugar House neighborhood.
The S-line runs two miles long at the moment and has averaged around 1,000 riders every weekday, according to UTA’s masterplan fact sheet, and had 330,000 riders in 2014. The S-line also has the lowest average ridership of UTA’s rail services, TRAX Red, Blue and Green Lines and the Frontrunner.
The S-line did, however, have the fewest number of revenue hours compared to the TRAX lines and the Frontrunner at 7,000 hours in 2014. According to UTA’s fact sheet, the S-line averaged 50 riders per revenue hour. The TRAX lines averaged 160 riders per revenue hour, and Frontrunner averaged 130 riders.
UTA’s masterplan could also affect the bus schedules and routes across the city. Sugar House’s bus routes are busier than the S-line but have a slightly lower ridership than the rest of the downtown area’s routes.
Barry said this has to do with the location of the S-line’s seven stops, “It still connects to nothing.”