UTA proposing $80M bus facility downtown
The Utah Transit Authority is proposing a large $80 million bus maintenance facility in western downtown Salt Lake City Â and may make its old, existing garage next door part of a new "transit-oriented development" not far from The Gateway.
UTA has released more details of those plans as part of an environmental assessment required for federal funding that it is seeking for the project. UTA is accepting public comment on the study through June 11.
The new Central Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility would occupy up to 18.7 acres at 750 W. 300 South. It would be designed to maintain 250 buses used in the Salt Lake City area, including a fueling and maintenance center for a new fleet that UTA hopes to build of up to 101 buses that use compressed natural gas. UTA has its first 10 CNG-powered buses on order for delivery next year.
That new facility would replace an existing one at 616 W. 200 South that sits on 7.3 acres and maintains a fleet of 110 vehicles.
UTA says the current facility near the Salt Lake Central Station for TRAX and FrontRunner is too small for its current needs and cannot handle future requirements.
UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter said the agency already received a $4.4 million federal grant for design of the new facility and preliminary work on the property.
The facility is projected to cost $80 million overall eventually but would likely be constructed in phases, he said. The first phase Â which would cost $40 million to $50 million Â would handle about 150 buses. UTA anticipates that construction could begin in late 2013 and be completed as soon as 2014.
UTA says in the environmental assessment that after the current maintenance facility is replaced, it would be available for a future "transit-oriented development," possibly in conjunction with the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City. Such developments normally seek to create commercial and residential centers around transit stops, such as the new City Creek development downtown.
How to weigh in
The new environmental assessment is available online at http://www.rideuta.com.
Public comments may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by fax to 801-741-8892, or by mail to: Central Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility Project, Patti Garver, Environmental Specialist, Utah Transit Authority, 669 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101.
The Federal Transit Administration will review the assessment and comments to determine whether to issue a finding of "no significant impact" for the project, or order a full Environmental Impact Statement instead.