The opening of the Utah Transit Authority’s first streetcar will boost economic development and foster growth within South Salt Lake and Sugar House, officials said at today’s S-Line grand opening celebration.
“The streetcar is more than just a movement,” said South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood. “It is reshaping our community.”
When the two-mile streetcar line opens for regular service on Dec. 8, it will connect UTA’s existing rail system with commercial districts throughout the two cities. Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff said transit options are an essential way to promote economic development, citing growth along the FrontRunner line as an example.
“One of the reasons that the biggest, fastest-growing companies are coming to this region is because rail options exist,” he said.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said the streetcar helps provide the kind of modern infrastructure Sugar House and South Salt Lake need to thrive.
“Now we’ve got years ahead of having the kinds of walkable neighborhoods and communities that we know people want,” said Becker.
The S-Line opens 14 years to the day after the opening of the first TRAX line. UTA General Manager Michael Allegra said that partnerships and cooperation within the community have allowed UTA to complete its rail routes in less than a decade and a half.
“It’s about everybody working together to make this a success,” Allegra said.
The S-Line’s opening festivities will continue on Saturday with a community celebration and free ride day. Members of the public can ride the line for free if they bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Utah Food Bank. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will also feature food, entertainment and children’s activities at the Fairmont and 300 East stops.