Transit officials and local government leaders praised the hard work went into the creation of the new Sugar House streetcar at a grand opening ceremony Thursday afternoon.
After more than six years of planning and $37 million dollars in construction costs the Sugar House streetcar, or S-Line, will open to the public on Sunday. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says the streetcar ushers in an exciting time of growth and development that will benefit the community for years to come.
“We’re just looking forward now to the years ahead, when maybe we don’t get back to 140 miles of street cars, but with the help of the legislature, our federal partners, our private and other local partners we redo our city in a way that captures the best of what we have today and have the truly livable and walkable city we all want for the future,” Becker says.
A large portion of the construction costs of the new line came from a federal transit grant. Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff praised Salt Lake City and UTA officials for putting in the work to win the extremely competitive grant. He also says the opening of the S-Line is the beginning of a national revival of streetcars.
“And the reason why streetcars are coming back in America is the very reason that you see before you: jobs and economic development, a better quality of life, transportation choices for the citizens, transportation choices that people want,” Rogoff says.
The 2-mile long line runs from the Central Pointe TRAX station to the Fairmont stop at about 21st South and 11th East. On Saturday UTA is holding community celebrations along the line and allowing people to ride for free if they bring an item to donate to the Utah Food Bank.