SALT LAKE CITY — A growing population along the Wasatch Front means people will require more options to get from point A to point B. The state’s largest public transportation agency has begun piecing together a comprehensive plan to meet increasing transit demand, which it plans to present to its governing board Wednesday.

The Utah Transit Authority laid out detailed plans to state lawmakers last month on how the agency proposes to develop its transportation resources to add more routes using various modes of travel throughout the Salt Lake and nearby valleys. During a virtual meeting of the state Legislature’s Transportation Interim Committee, UTA Executive Director Carolyn Gonot told members about some of the main transit projects planned for the next five years.

Among the projects under consideration are a bus rapid transit route in Weber County that would run from the Ogden FrontRunner station to Weber State University, then to McKay-Dee Hospital.

“We’re looking at funds through the Federal Transit Administration. The president has tweeted in the past about allocating $65.8 million to that project,” Gonot said. “We still have to go through the formal (proposal and application) process. That’s a partnership with Weber State.“

She said the next project being looked at is either enhanced bus service or bus rapid transit from Davis County to Salt Lake City.

“It may go as far north as Farmington and then into the downtown and potentially over to the University of Utah,” she explained.

Another proposed bus rapid transit project would connect the FrontRunner stations between Orem and Provo in Utah County. She added that Salt Lake City leaders are considering a project that would enhance public transit in some underserved areas of the city.

“They are planning on doing some redevelopment near 400 West, but as part of that we would be looking at some operational improvements to our light rail system, and potentially a line that comes up near 400 West that would serve new development in that area,” Gonot said. However, she noted that proposal is just in the early stages of a feasibility study.

Similarly, UTA is studying transit options for the area around Point of the Mountain.

“We work closely with the cities for that area, particularly Lehi and Draper because it’s in that congested corridor,” she said. “It’s an alignment that would serve the prison site as well as Silicon Slopes. In that, we’re looking at light rail or bus rapid transit that would connect to that corridor in the Central Corridor study in Utah County that goes from Lehi all the way down to Provo.”

She noted that local civic leaders will review the proposal to determine if the plan makes sense for the area’s population. In addition, UTA is studying the efficacy of a possible commuter rail extension from Provo to Santaquin in south Utah County, with stops in Spanish Fork and Payson.

“We’re doing a study looking at what are some short-term improvements and then in the long run, looking at whether an extension of FrontRunner is viable,” Gonot said. “We’re looking at a business plan for FrontRunner as to how we will invest in FrontRunner and add segments of double track over time to be able to increase capacity and run faster trains (throughout) that corridor.”

In the southwest section of the valley, UTA is examining the best ways to enhance transportation for cities such as Riverton, Herriman, Bluffdale, Draper and South Jordan. One consideration is expanding TRAX light rail from Daybreak south to connect with the commuter rail line, she added.

One project that will likely get more attention in the nearer term is the Mid Valley Bus Rapid Transit connector.

“That’s something that Taylorsville has really been the lead on,” she said. “It connects to the Murray FrontRunner station and the Murray TRAX station over to Salt Lake Community College and then out to West Valley and our transit center there,” she said.

Gonot said building capacity in those areas will take time, but getting most of them developed or at least planned for construction will be a priority over the next five years. Since the beginning of the pandemic, demand for bus service has risen — especially in areas along 3300 South serving students, essential workers and areas with lower income populations.

“I want to continue to see service increase and we’re actually starting to sort of pinpoint those routes that are really our core essential routes (which) we should be improving the span of service — which means earlier hours, later hours or more frequency in the middle of the day and also weekend service for them,” Gonot said.

She said UTA seeks a system where “a restaurant worker knows that they can get home at night, or that they can catch the bus on a Sunday relatively frequently.”