Utah Transit Authority (UTA) officials, joined by a host of Utah dignitaries, broke ground on the Depot District Clean Fuels Technology Center on Monday, October 22, 2018 at UTA’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This long-awaited project will replace UTA’s outdated Central Bus Garage which is fast becoming obsolete. In its stead, UTA will repurpose a century-old railroad site, once used as Denver & Rio Grande’s locomotive shop, into a state-of-the-art maintenance and fueling facility designed to accommodate today’s clean air transit vehicles’ daily duty cycles and maintenance requirements. The structure is expected to be complete by 2021.
The Depot will free up the existing Central Bus Garage for a mixed-use Transit Oriented Development (TOD), provide a LEED-certified facility to charge electric buses, expand service by housin gmore buses, and create long and short-term jobs. The Tech Center has been identified by both the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) and UTA as a critical need to significantly expand public transportation services in Salt Lake and Davis counties.
By expanding UTA’s fleet, more locally obtainable alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric power will not only create jobs and spur economic development in the Depot District but improve regional air quality and promote public health as well. This 9-acre redevelopment project is anticipated to bring hundreds of new apartments, shops, offices, museums, green space and a pubic market to an economically challenged neighborhood.
Utah Clean Cities facilitated the funding of UTA’s first advanced-fueled natural gas buses;replacing old emission-heavy diesel buses. Utah Clean Cities has watched UTA’s leadership and stewardship of those first buses grow into an award-winning, fuel-diverse Green Fleet program. Now this innovative transit leader is taking the next step in to the future with electrified bus transportation and is exploring the addition of renewal natural gas, RNG, to their CNG buses. This vital partnership will continue to grow with the Depot District Clean Fuels Technology Center, and other Utah Clean Cities Smart Mobility projects around the Salt Lake Valley.