The $55-million project was funded in part by a $26-million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant. The remaining funds were provided locally.
"As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, Utah has successfully embraced public transportation as an effective way to meet rising demand for affordable, reliable access to jobs, medical care, education and other opportunities," said the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "TIGER-funded projects like the Sugar House Streetcar make a strong case for investing in our nation's transportation infrastructure."
The initial two-mile streetcar line connects riders with the Central Pointe Station on the UTA TRAX light-rail line on the west end and the Sugar House commercial business district on the east end, with seven stops along the way. The line, surrounded by parkland and walking trails, offers easy connections to more than130 miles of existing and planned rail transit throughout the region. More than $400 million in construction for new or redeveloped housing, retail and office space is completed or under way in the Sugar House Business District, with millions of dollars more in development planned for the South Salt Lake City end. The project has created roughly 700 construction-related jobs. UTA and Salt Lake City are planning two extensions to the streetcar line in the future.
"The streetcar is more than just a movement," said South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood. "It is reshaping our community."
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said the streetcar helps provide the kind of modern infrastructure Sugar House and South Salt Lake need to thrive.
"Now, we've got years ahead of having the kinds of walkable neighborhoods and communities that we know people want," said Becker.