Provo Businesses Celebrate End of Construction, Arrival of Bus Rapid Transit

Dec 7, 2018, 9:35 PM

PROVO, Utah — In a shop along University Avenue in Provo, you might feel like you’re eating in Brazil.

“Authentic Brazilian food, the kind you eat in Rio in the little cafes,” said Lucy Wyssling, who owns Lucy’s Brazilian Kitchen, which in the two years she has been open has attracted some loyal customers.

“We have people who served missions in Brazil, people who lived in Brazil, the Brazilians who live in Provo or Utah, they hear we have great homemade food and that is what they like,” she said.

But her business and others along University Avenue have had to deal with more than a year of construction as a special bus lane was built for the new Utah Valley Express, which is the UTA bus rapid transit system. It began full operation this week.

The 190 million dollar project runs between the Orem and Provo frontrunner stations, providing service to UVU and BYU. There are 18 stops, including two in downtown Provo.

“It has been hard, it has been a long wait but we are hopeful that tonight will be the end of the construction and the beginning of a great new start for Provo and our businesses,” she added.

So on Friday night, local businesses held a block party, with specials on food, sales and giveaways to get people back to their businesses.

“The construction has made it so people have tried to stay away from downtown Provo,” said Provo mayor Michelle Kaufusi.

She said Friday night’s celebration was also designed to help people see all that Provo has to offer, and she hopes people will see the ease of the consistent bus service, similar to TRAX in Salt Lake.

“The goal is to get everyone on it, or at least know it is available, the more people we have on UVX helps with fewer cars on the road which helps everything including our inversion season which we are heading into,” she added.

People are being encouraged to ride the Utah Valley Express, it’s free and both UTA and the businesses hope that you’ll decide it is a convenient way to travel in Provo.

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Provo Businesses Celebrate End of Construction, Arrival of Bus Rapid Transit