The Utah Transit Authority took another step Wednesday toward creating a new "bus rapid transit" route — which envisions creating exclusive lanes for buses along 4500 South — between Murray and Taylorsville.
The UTA Board approved an agreement with Taylorsville, Murray and Salt Lake County to conduct an environmental study and conceptual design for the project over the next two years or so.
The UTA agreed to pay $580,000 for the study, along with $90,000 from Salt Lake County, $80,000 from Taylorsville and $30,000 from Murray.
Bus Rapid Transit is sometimes called "TRAX on rubber wheels" because buses have exclusive rights-of-way for much of their route. Also, riders must buy tickets at vending machines, and special buses have more doors to allow quicker entrance and exit.
One such line is operating on 3500 South in West Valley City. Long-range transportation plans call for many more such routes throughout the Wasatch Front.
The Murray-Taylorville line would run on Vine Street in Murray — beginning at Main Street by the IHC Hospital — to 500 West to the 4500 South Expressway to Redwood Road to Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville. It would serve stations for TRAX light rail and FrontRunner commuter rail.
Hal Johnson, UTA manager of project development and systems planning, said lanes and other facilities for the four- to five-mile line would likely take a couple of years to complete after the environmental study is completed, and when funding becomes available.
He said current plans call for the project to be built only with local funding.