Ogden - WSU Transit Project
Ogden - WSU Transit Study
Welcome to the project web page for the Ogden - WSU transit study. The Ogden - Weber State University Transit Corridor project is looking at ways to improve transit service in a 5-mile corridor between downtown Ogden and Weber State University (WSU) and McKay Dee Hospital Center. This is one of the busiest bus transit corridors in the Wasatch Front area, but it has high levels of traffic, making transit trips slower and less reliable. Many people rely on transit for trips to jobs, school, or to reach other places in the region. In the future, as more people and jobs move into the area, there will be an even greater need for higher quality transit service.
- Public Scoping Briefing Materials
- Project Milestone Schedule
- Economic Development Opportunities Analysis
- Ogden-WSU Transit Corridor AA-EIS
- Frequently Asked Questions
The corridor is in the city of Ogden. It connects the Ogden Intermodal Center/FrontRunner commuter rail station on the west side of Downtown Ogden to the area's major employment, housing, commercial and education destinations, including Downtown Ogden, WSU and McKay-Dee Hospital Center. A map detail can be found in the Public Open House Information Package (page 8) below.
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is leading the project in partnership with the City of Ogden, Weber County, Weber State University, McKay Dee Hospital Center, the Utah Department of Transportation, and the Wasatch Front Regional Council. Becuase this project could use federal funds, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is also involved.
Purpose and Need for the Project
The purpose of the Ogden-Weber State University Transit Corridor Project is to provide high-capacity, efficient transit service that:
- improves the level of service and increases transit ridership between the Ogden Intermodal Center, the Ogden Central Business District, Weber State University, and McKay-Dee Hospital and intermediate destinations;
- assists in achieving local and regional economic, land use and community development goals outlined in general plans and related planning studies,
- is cost-effective, affordable and provides the opportunity for more travel choices; and,
- enjoys wide public and stakeholder support, and encourages partnerships among agencies, businesses and organizations in the corridor.
Scoping Process and Public Input
The project partners are currently completing an Alternatives Analysis (AA) for the project. This AA phase of the project began on February 17, 2009 with publication of a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Notice-of-Intent to conduct early scoping for the proposed action. Public Scoping was held in March to discuss the potential alignments, mode, and station locations. Click here to view the notice for the Scoping meetings. Click here to view the Scoping Summary Report. Additional opportunities for public input on the AA and subsequent steps of the project will be forthcoming.
Studying the Options
Alternatives Analysis is a process used to identify a locally preferred alternative that will solve the problem defined in the Purpose & Need Statement. The purpose of the Alternatives Analysis is to:
- Determine if a fixed-guideway transit line is needed;
- Determine what level of investment is needed;
- Develop a full range of alternatives that address the project purpose and need;
- Examine prudent and feasible alternatives that provide improved mass transit within the study area;
- Compare and evaluate alternate alignments and technologies;
- Seek opportunities to maximize project benefits and minimize impacts to people and the environment; and
- Select a locally preferred alignment and technology.
The resulting preferred alternative will be included for examination in a subsequent environmental process. Typically, the environmental process includes preparation of an environmental study report of sufficient detail to allow a federal decision on the viability and acceptability of the proposed action (project).
Ogden-WSU Transit Corridor AA
In this project, the AA phase was subdivided into two sequential sub phases: (1) Development of Alternatives and (2) Evaluation of Alternatives. Development of Alternatives includes: (1) analysis of existing conditions and future plans in the study area, (2) public and agency scoping and (3) preparation of conceptual alternatives that meet the purpose and need for the project as identified in the FTA Notice of Early Scoping. Evaluation of Alternatives includes those actions to refine and further develop conceptual alternatives. This includes high level analysis of the performance, cost and impacts of each conceptual alternative, leading to selection of a locally preferred alternative. Click here to view the Alternatives Analysis flowchart, which illustrates how the project begins with a universe of alternatives and funnels down to a single preferred project.
Currently, 19 alignment segments are under consideration for possible combination into a single alignment alternative. All alignments have been developed to accommodate either streetcar or bus rapid transit (BRT), and are therefore “mode neutral”. Each alignment segment is being studied and evaluated in terms of meeting the project Purpose and Need using evaluation criteria approved by the project partners in April 2009. These criteria include:
- Cost and cost per mile
- Travel time (for streetcar and BRT)
- Activity centers served
- Walk access by 2015 population
- Walk access by 2015 employment
- Supportive of UTA system
- Right of way impacts
- Impacts to traffic operations
- Impacts to parking and bike lanes
- Land use compatibility
- Economic development potential
- Environmental impacts (NEPA categories)
Current Status and Next Steps
The project partners are currently working through the evaluation of the proposed alignments. This phase of the project will likely conclude in late August (2009). There will be additional opportunities for public involvement in summer/fall 2009. The AA Report will be prepared and forwarded for Federal Transit Administration review in fall 2009. It is anticipated that the environmental evaluation will commence in fall 2009 and be completed in early 2010. Click here for the current project schedule.