Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 3, 2020
UTA Tooele Transit Study Alternatives

Alternative 1: Existing Mixed Flow Express Bus

Alternative #1 uses buses on existing Interstate 80 and state Route 36, mixing bus traffic with automobile traffic. 

Stops would include multiple stops in Tooele City, the 2400 North/SR-36 Park and Ride, and the Benson Grist Mill Park and Ride before heading into Salt Lake City for multiple stops. 

Service would be on weekdays only during typical commuting times with 30 minute intervals. 

This alternative has the advantage of providing express bus service to employment and housing centers in Tooele and Sale Lake cities. Buses are flexible, allowing service to be added or reduced based on needs. 

As a disadvantage, the buses would be subject to the same traffic and road conditions as automobiles. Service would only run to Salt Lake City in the morning and to Tooele in the afternoon.

At $11 million it has the lowest capital cost of the four alternatives.

Alternative 2: All Day, MIixed Flow Bus with Limited Stops

Alternative #2 uses buses on existing Interstate 80 and state Route 36, mixing bus traffic with automobile traffic. 

Stops would include the 2400 North/SR-36 Park and Ride and the Benson Grist Mill Park and Ride before heading into Salt Lake City for multiple stops. 

Service would be all day weekdays with more frequent service during typical commuting times with 30 minute intervals. 

This alternative has the advantage of using buses, which are flexible, allowing service to be added or reduced based on needs. It offers all day service. Total route travel time would be shorter because the bus would not travel through Tooele City.

As a disadvantage, the buses would be subject to the same traffic and road conditions as automobiles. It would have fewer stops than the existing mixed flow express bus alternative. People in Tooele City would need to drive to and from the 2400 North/SR-36 Park and Ride Lot.

It has an estimated capital cost of $21 million.

Alternative 3: Shoulder Running Bus Rapid Transit

Alternative #3 uses buses traveling on lanes built on the shoulders of Interstate 80 and state Route 36, separating bus traffic from automobile traffic. 

Stops would include the 2400 North/SR-36 Park and Ride and the Benson Grist Mill Park and Ride before heading into Salt Lake City for multiple stops. 

Service would be all day weekdays with more frequent service during typical commuting times with 15 minute intervals. 

This alternative has the advantage of providing high frequency bus service to employment centers and high density opportunities in Tooele and Salt Lake cities. This is the fastest of all bus alternatives with an estimated future travel time of 35-45 minutes. Buses would avoid most of the congestion that other bus alternatives pass through. It has the highest forecasted ridership.

As a disadvantage, lane enforcement may be a challenge. It requires partnership with Utah Department of Transportation.

It has an estimated capital cost of $126 million.

Alternative 4: Commuter Rail from Tooele to Salt Lake City

Alternative #4 uses commuter rail on the existing Union Pacific right-of-way. 

Stops would include Tooele City North and the Benson Grist Mill area before heading into Salt Lake City. 

Service would be all day weekdays with 15 minute intervals. 

This alternative provides rail connection to the existing commuter rail service that serves the Wasatch Front. It avoids congested areas that other alternatives pass through. Commuter rail has a high seating capacity per trip.

This alternative requires extensive coordination and purchase of right-of-way from Union Pacific. It is not as flexible as other alternatives. Alignment and stops are not easily modified.

It has the largest estimated capital cost at $970 million.

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