UTA eyeing FrontRunner expansion further into Utah County

May 21, 2024, 7:11 PM | Updated: 7:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY There is something about trains and kids.

5-year-old Jaron can’t get enough of them.

“He loves to ride the train,” said Sheldon Shaw.

Shaw had his hands full with his 5-year-old great-grandson Tuesday afternoon.

Sheldon Shaw and his great grandson, Jaron, board a FrontRunner train. (Aubrey Shafer, KSL TV)

However, their trip from Bountiful to Salt Lake City on FrontRunner is always worth it.

“That is mostly why we came up here today. We tend to him and he just wanted to go on the FrontRunner,” Shaw said.

One day, Jaron will be able to go a lot further.

Not just to Provo, where FrontRunner stops now, but even further South all the way to Payson.

“That’s crazy,” Shaw said.

Growth is why the Utah Transit Authority is talking about expanding FrontRunner further south into Utah County with three new stations in Springville, Spanish Fork, and Payson.

“We know that the Wasatch Front is growing very, very fast and our transportation options needs to grow with it,” said Janelle Robertson, UTA’s FrontRunner south extension project manager. “We are in the environmental phase of kind of nailing down the footprint of the extension project’s impact will be.”

Informational meetings

Because of those impacts, UTA is planning on public informational meetings in those three cities, as well as Provo, to let people know what it is all about.

  • The first meeting is Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Payson City Center.
  • The second meeting will be on June 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Provo Library Young Special Events room.
  • The third meeting is set for June 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Heritage Room at Library Hall in Spanish Fork.
  • The final meeting is scheduled for June 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Springville’s Civic Center Multipurpose room.

There is not a date set for the project to begin. (Aubrey Shafer, KSL TV)

“This project will expand about 14 miles into new commuter rail territory,” Robertson said.

There is not a date set for the project to begin.

UTA says it is still looking for funding, such as federal grants, which could take several years.

However, UTA wanted to start this process now with public meetings so when the funding comes through, the project can begin quicker.

That is good news for Jaron.

He might need FrontRunner to commute when he gets older.

Or, for when his kids fall in loves with trains.

“Oh, they just love them,” Jaron’s great-grandfather said.

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UTA eyeing FrontRunner expansion further into Utah County