The Utah Transit Authority’s Future of Light Rail (FOLR) was launched in early 2020 and concluded in January 2023 with the completion of the UTA Light Rail Strategic Plan. The study included a comprehensive analysis of the region’s light rail/streetcar network and how it integrates with other transportation modes. The goal of the study was to guide regional transportation improvements that included light rail and streetcar in both the short and long term. Service expansion scenarios were generally limited to projects adopted and shown as funded in the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) 2019 Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs) that did not have a current study underway.
Stakeholders were engaged throughout the FOLR study with a process also in place to inform the general public and solicit input at key junctures. Engagement efforts included multiple presentations and workshops, online and in-person surveys, and a UTA study webpage with FOLR documents posted as they were released. In the end, the FOLR included five key areas of recommendation:
- PLAN for service expansion and network reconfiguration.
- ORGANIZE fleet efficiency, including the potential replacement of the first generation of light rail vehicles.
- FUND key infrastructure renewal/improvement projects including:
- New line segments on 400 South
- The Ballpark Spur in Salt Lake City’s Granary District
- The University of Utah Research Park area
- COLLABORATE with partners to increase transit signal priority at various street intersections.
- ENHANCE span of service to provide more service early in the morning and late at night.