West Jordan, West Valley City and Draper, prepare yourselves for light rail.

Ogden, the commuter train is on the way.

Davis County, you might receive both.

Plus, an expanded bus system with more routes and more frequent service, Sunday and holiday hours, extended weeknight service and — according to proponents of Measure One — an enhanced quality of life for Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties are on the way.

Voters in all three counties Tuesday approved a quarter-cent-per-dollar sales tax increase to implement the public transit component of a 20-year regional transportation improvement plan.

The tax hike is expected to generate about $43 million per year at first and would increase with growth and inflation.

"We're pleased with the results," said Charlie Luke, spokesman for People for Sensible Transportation, which raised more than $110,000 to promote passage of Measure One.

"Anytime you ask people to vote for a tax increase, it's important to let them know what the money is used for and that's what we focused on. We did a good job of educating the public of the benefits of transit."

As pre-election polls indicated — and traffic on heavily congested I-15 would suggest — Measure One passed most easily in Davis County. Voters there approved the tax hike, 57.5 percent to 42.5 percent.

In Weber County, the measure passed with 52.8 percent of votes in favor and 47.2 percent against.

In Salt Lake County, where a quarter of the revenue generated by the tax increase will finance improvements on I-15, 53.6 percent voted for the tax hike and 46.4 percent voted against.

"We look at Measure One as a quality of life issue. And voters had a chance to decide what kind of transportation system they wanted along the Wasatch Front," Luke said.

But Michael Packard of Citizens for Accountable Government, a longtime critic of the Utah Transit Authority and light rail, said voters were duped by lies and distortions from UTA.

"It'll be grand to watch this running back and forth, except when we have to wait for it, and we'll think we're a first-class city," Packard said, referring to the light-rail extensions planned for Salt Lake County.

"But unless you go out and start chaining people's cars to the ground and use force . . . then it's not going to end up doing anything useful or significant."

UTA plans to use some of the additional revenue to provide more frequent service on the existing 15-mile TRAX line. Passage of Measure One means the state Legislature will not have to come up with the estimated $1.5 million annual expense of operating the 2.5-mile University TRAX extension, now under construction.

Spanish Fork residents, meanwhile, voted to remain a part of UTA, although some say UTA buses aren't used in the rural burg and the city would save money by having its own bus service. Spanish Fork would have been the first city to leave UTA.

The City Council voted in July to place the issue on the ballot. A reduction in routes angered officials and spurred them to question whether the some $586,000 Spanish Fork pays each year to UTA was worth the cost.

Spanish Fork Proposition One was defeated with 59 percent of the vote. Proposition Two would have imposed a quarter-cent sales tax on retail sales in Spanish Fork to fund the streets' construction and maintenance if residents bolted from UTA.

The defeat of Spanish Fork's Proposition One made Proposition Two moot, even though that ballot measure passed. Fifty-three percent voted to raise taxes to improve roads if the city pulled out of UTA.

The results of a ballot measure to fund public transit in Cache County were expected to be announced Wednesday afternoon.


Contributing: Jeff Haney

E-mail: zman@desnews.com; donna@desnews.com