Light Rail Transit Success in Utah?...posts a New York Times story describing how transit-oriented-development is being accepted by the market in the Salt Lake City metro area...Here's why:
As a Salt Lake metro resident I can fill you in on a few pertinent details.First, the primary TRAX line goes from a large mall-oriented development at the south end of the Salt Lake valley northward in essentially a straight line to the downtown area of Salt Lake City itself. The primary intent of this line was to allow commuters an alternative to driving to their jobs downtown. The secondary TRAX line runs on the same tracks as the primary line in a small part of the downtown Salt Lake City area and then swings east with its final destination as the University of Utah and its associated medical centers.The metro's bus lines have been configured to allow folks living east or west of the TRAX main line to catch buses that travel east-west routes that intersect with the TRAX line.Some destinations that are located right next to TRAX stops include the site of the Real Salt Lake soccer stadium that is being built, the stadium for the local AAA baseball team, the arena that is home to the Utah Jazz, and Temple Square.The reason that ridership is exceeding projections is because the TRAX lines go to destinations that are popular. In addition, commuters find that the light rail is a good alternative to driving when their offices are located in close proximity to light rail stations.
The reason that voters here approved the massive expansion of the mass transit system is that we recognize the benefits that the current system provides, and cities that are not located on the existing lines want lines that will connect with the main system.