SALT LAKE CITY — With the new airport TRAX line opening Sunday, Utah Transit Authority gave a sneak peek to the media Wednesday.
The TRAX line to the Salt Lake International Airport adds seven stops to the Green Line train. The new stops begin at Arena Station, takes North Temple to I-215, where it curves south and heads back north to a visitor's center connected to Terminal 1 at the airport.
Trains will leave every 15 minutes from Arena Station, though passengers headed to the airport can board at any station along the Green Line. The trip from Arena Station to Airport Station will take about 20 minutes.
UTA estimates approximately 4,600 passengers will ride the new line each day. Ridership is expected to increase to about 10,000 passengers per day by 2015 and up to 14,000 per day by 2030. Travelers as well as commuters are expected to fill the train.
- Trains will drop passengers at a newly constructed "welcome center" that is directly adjacent to Terminal 1 — the Southwest Airlines Terminal —which is also an easy walk to terminal 2.
- The trip from downtown Salt Lake City's Arena Station at 400 West and South Temple is estimated to take 20 minutes, with trains departing every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends.
- The downtown free fare zone does not apply to the airport route. Riders are required to pay standard one-way fare of $2.50.
- The Airport Line is part of UTA's Green Line, with service between West Valley City and the airport. Riders can transfer from TRAX anywhere between Central Pointe Station (2100 South) and Arena Station. FrontRunner riders may transfer to the new line at the North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe Station.
- The six-mile, light-rail Green Line has stops along North Temple at 500 West, 800 West, 1100 West, 1500 West, 1950 West and at Salt Lake City International Airport.
After taking a hit from four years of construction, businesses hope it will help revitalize the area north of 300 West.
"It's been a long journey and we've had to put up with a lot of construction," said Red Iguana Owner Lucy Cardenas.
Cardenas grew up in the area and has fond memories of North Temple in the 1960s, when the area was an entertainment hub for its neighbors. She wants to see that energy return.
"This street was quite lovely many, many years ago, so I'm hoping this will bring it back," Cardenas said. "We had a movie theater. We had couple of restaurants. We had a bowling alley. It was just kind of fun, the grocery stores were nice. It was just really cool.
Saturday, UTA will host "Food for your Fare" rides to the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Riders can ride to the Airport Station for free by donating cans of food.
Under construction since January 2009, the new $393 million TRAX extension is one of five rail projects UTA has had on its construction agenda in the past few years. The others included the $535 million Mid-Jordan Red Line that operates between Daybreak and the University of Utah, along with the $370 million West Valley Green Line that will now operate between Valley Fair Mall and the airport. There is also the $212 million Draper TRAX extension and the $850 million FrontRunner South commuter-rail line that runs from downtown Salt Lake City to Provo.
The original combined budget was $2.8 billion for all five lines. The program thus far is coming in at approximately $2.3 billion, UTA said.