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STUDY AREA CONTEXT

To develop goals for the study, one of the first steps was to better understand the context of transportation, land use, growth and other key factors in the study area. Based on review of existing and future conditions and discussion with project stakeholders, the following key observations about needs within the study area were noted:

  • Rapid population and employment growth was forecasted and additional transportation options are required to meet future travel demand.

  • Roadway congestion is increasing, and options are limited for the expansion of existing roadways.

  • Existing transit options are limited, particularly for longer commuting trips that are leaving southern Utah County for destinations to the north.

  • Local communities are seeking increased transit-supportive land uses to accommodate future growth and generate economic development and employment opportunities.

  • Communities in the area are experiencing development pressure and have expressed an interest in alternatives to driving, reducing trips on I-15, and spurring transit-oriented land uses and economic development.

For additional detailed information about existing and future conditions in the study area, see the Existing and Future Conditions Memo here.

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STUDY GOALS

Identifying these key observations within the study area resulted in determining the study goals. This study will:

  • Support the transportation demands of the projected population growth in southern Utah County.

  • Provide efficient and high-capacity regional transportation service in the project corridor between Provo and Santaquin.

  • Support the adopted regional plans and local plans and policies.

  • Enhance economic development in the corridor by improving access to and connections between existing and planned employment and key activity centers.
     

Identifying the study area key observations and developing goals leads to what is called a project's "Purpose and Need." For additional information about the Purpose and Need, see the Purpose and Need Memo here.

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INITIAL RANGE OF TRANSIT OPTIONS

The South Valley Transit Study is using a multistep process to develop and select a Locally Preferred Alternative to provide transit service between Provo and Santaquin. The Locally Preferred Alternative identifies the transit alignment (corridor and locations to be served) and the transit mode (e.g. commuter rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, express bus, etc.). The process is summarized below.

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INITIAL RANGE OF TRANSIT OPTIONS MAP

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The range of transit alignments to be considered for initial evaluation include:

  • Rail corridor

  • I-15

  • Main/State Street

The following range of transit modes (e.g., commuter rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, express bus, etc.) will be considered for initial evaluation. Additional information on types of transit modes can be found here.

  • Commuter Rail Transit (operates separated from traffic)

  • Light Rail Transit (operates separated from traffic)

  • Bus Rapid Transit (operates separated from traffic)

  • Express Bus (operates with traffic)

  • Local Bus (operates with traffic)

Local bus service was eliminated in the pre-screening steps of the study because it does not meet the regional transit component found in the Purpose and Need of the study.

This range of transit corridors and transit modes will be combined into transit options (also called Alternatives) that will undergo a high-level analysis. This step is called Initial Alternative Screening. The high-level analysis will look at factors such as transit speed, travel time, potential ridership, cost, impacts and other considerations to illustrate key differences between the transit options. The findings of that analysis will inform the best performing alternatives that should be evaluated in further detail.

Additional information on the transit evaluation process and the initial range of transit options can be found here.

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