Salt Lake Light Rail System Reduces Vehicle Traffic On Parallel Roadways

A new study finds that Salt Lake City's TRAX light-rail system significantly reduces traffic on parallel roadways. It estimates that a LRT line reduces daily from 44,000 (if it did not exist) to 22,300 (what actually occurs) on one arterial.

1 minute read

June 26, 2014, 9:00 AM PDT

By Todd Litman

trax light rail train in foreground, snow-covered mountains in background

vxla / flickr

A new study, Effect of Light-Rail Transit on Traffic in a Travel Corridor, by University of Utah researchers Reid Ewing, Guang Tian and Allison Spain investigated the effects that Salt Lake City's TRAX light-rail system has on vehicle traffic on parallel roadways. This rail system began operating in 2001 and expanded over the following decades with new lines and stations. It currently carries about 53,000 average daily passengers. The study found significant declines in roadway traffic after the LRT line was completed, despite significant development in the area. It estimates the LRT line reduced daily vehicle traffic on the study corridor about 50%, from 44,000 (if the line did not exist) to 22,300 (what actually occurs). The study evaluates the resulting reductions in traffic congestion, fuel consumption, air pollution and parking costs. It estimated that the on that one corridor the LRT saves almost 500,000 gallons of gasoline, prevents almost 10 million pounds of CO2 from being emitted each year, and saved the University of Utah $23.6 million in avoided parking construction costs. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 in Effect of Light-Rail Transit on Traffic in a Travel Corridor

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Northwest Power Demand Could Surge as Data Centers, Transportation Electrification Ramps Up

New estimates project a steady increase in electricity demand due to population growth, data centers, and the shift to electric power in homes, buildings, and transportation.

May 17 - Governing

Blurred traffic speeding by on freeway with Los Angeles skyline in background.

California Testing Per-Mile Gas Tax Alternatives

A summer pilot program will test the fairness and efficacy of collection mechanisms for mileage-based fee options.

May 17 - Newsweek

Close-up of 'Pay rent' note in red marker on day 1 of monthly calendar.

After Months of Decreases, Rents Nationwide Are Going Up

Average rents rose by $12 around the country so far this year.

May 17 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.