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The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has received $4.5 million from the Salt Lake County Council to double track a portion of its S-Line streetcar route, the agency announced late last week. The move will enable UTA to run streetcars every 15 minutes along the 2-mile route, agency officials said in a press release. The total cost of the double-track project is $6 million. Coupled with funds allocated through the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program, the Salt Lake County money will provide enough financial support to get the project off the ground and provide for at least four years of extra operational and maintenance costs.S-Line streetcars currently run on a single track from the Central Pointe TRAX station in South Salt Lake to the Fairmont Station in Salt Lake City's Sugar House neighborhood. If streetcars need to pass one another, one unit must pull onto a side track and stop while the other car moves past it.The agency now runs streetcars every 20 minutes. Ridership on the S-Line route is up 8 percent in 2017's first quarter compared to the same period last year."This is such a vibrant area of our community and with development increasing at a fast pace, going to 15-minute frequency should provide increased ridership," said Jerry Benson, UTA's president and chief executive officer. Although some approvals for the double-track project are still pending, construction could begin in early 2019.
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