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John Daley ReportingOne stop or two, which would you prefer? Transportation planners are considering the options for a TRAX extension connecting the Delta Center with a new transit hub.
TRAX currently stops at the Delta Center, but within a couple of years it'll continue on from there to the new transportation hub. One question ahead is how many stops to add and where.
Just like everyone else these days, for UTA officials it's a constant juggling act between time and money. The transportation agency is extending TRAX about a mile from the Delta Center to the new Intermodal Hub at 600 West and 200 South.
The burning question is whether to have one stop at the mid-way point of the extension, or to have two, one to the west of 5th west, the other on 400 west, just to the east of the Gateway shopping center.
Justin Jones, UTA Spokesman: "I think the decision really is a fiscal decision. Two stations is more expensive than one. A million dollars to construct, a hundred fifty thousand dollars a year to maintain."
Also, each stop adds about 30 seconds to the ride. But city planners believe there's a prime opportunity to grow and redevelop the central urban core and an extra stop will encourage more housing development.
D.J. Baxter, Senior Advisor to the Mayor: "Providing those access points helps to induce development. We've seen in one city after the next where the provision of a very high quality transit system and providing stations on that transit system will actual induce development on adjacent parcels."
The developers behind the Gateway prefer one stop on 2nd south to avoid gumming up the most popular route for shoppers looking to park from 400 south. Either way, it's possible the final solution will be a compromise--one stop now, another later.
Justin Jones, UTA Spokesman: "Does it make fiscal sense to prepare for future demand by adding this additional station, making the underground preparations like we did at 900 south? Yes we think so."
The city council is expected to decide what to do at the start of next year. Construction on the extension could start next spring and be finished when that new commuter rail line opens in 2008.