WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced the award of approximately $75 million to the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to build a 10.5-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) line that will connect two communities south of Salt Lake City and provide fast and efficient service between two of the state’s biggest universities. The federal grant will fund close to half of the cost of the Provo-Orem BRT line.
“When completed, the Provo-Orem BRT line will add another important link in Salt Lake City’s increasingly comprehensive regional transit system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The Obama Administration is pleased to support a project that will provide quick and efficient transit access to jobs, schools and other opportunities in Utah’s growing Wasatch Front region.”
The BRT line connects Provo, Utah’s third-largest city, with Orem. From the north, the line will originate at the Orem Transit Center and run to downtown Provo, with stops at Utah Valley University, Brigham Young University and the Provo Central Station. Both the Orem and Provo stations provide connections to FrontRunner commuter rail and traditional UTA bus routes.
“The Provo-Orem BRT line will help create new connections for residents, commuters, and students and faculty traveling to and from the universities and Provo’s bustling downtown,” said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. “This new transportation option will serve an area that is seeing significant job growth, and help the two cities limit traffic congestion and reduce their environmental footprint even as their populations increase.”
The BRT line will run for about half of the route in exclusive lanes and offer off-board fare collection and elevated platforms to make it easier for passengers to enter and exit the buses. FTA is providing approximately $75 million through its Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program toward the $150 million total cost of the Provo-Orem BRT project. UTA estimates more than 11,000 trips will be provided on an average weekday in the opening year of 2019.
The CIG Program is the nation’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments. Projects accepted into the highly competitive program go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for and receive program funds.