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Light rail preferred option in S. Davis, Utah

The plan to use light rail came about during the past year, in which the Utah Transit Authority received input from community meetings, comment forms, newsletters and an interactive Web site.

By Joseph M. Dougherty

(Published in the Deseret Morning News (Utah) on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008.)

A transit study focusing on southern Davis County has settled on low-cost light rail as the preferred option to help the traffic flow between Salt Lake City and Parrish Lane in Centerville.

The plan to use light rail came about during the past year, in which the Utah Transit Authority received input from community meetings, comment forms, newsletters and an interactive Web site.

The goal for the southern Davis County study was to increase mobility in the area, reduce the use of cars and expand the choices for mode of transportation.

And light rail appears to be the winner, though it's going to be another year, at least, before a draft environmental impact statement is produced.

So far, the vision is a cross between TRAX and a streetcar system owned by the city of Portland, Ore.

The light-rail vehicle would be powered by an electrified cable overhead and would run on a standard-gauge set of rails set at grade with the road and would travel in its own lane except for two places in Bountiful and Centerville.

Kerry Doane, a UTA strategic planner, said the preferred alternative also includes a bus connection from Parrish Lane to the FrontRunner commuter rail station in Farmington.