Cache Valley Transit is projected to grow 245% by 2050, driving expansion without money from lawmakers
Though only weeks away from a financial setback with the state, Cache Valley’s transit system is moving forward with a $56 million project to expand its services to the growing area.
Officials from across Cache County gathered in North Logan Monday morning to break ground on the new Cache Valley Transit District (CVTD) administration and maintenance facility, a project that has been nearly 13 years in the making. The approximately 110,000 square meter building will be built on a 3.6 hectare site east of Logan-Cache Airport.
Todd Beutler, CEO and general manager of the CVTD, which is not part of the Utah Transit Authority system, said the district purchased the property in 2010. If all goes according to plan, the new facility could be up and running by November 2024.
“Some of our employees had asked the question, ‘Are we ever really going to do this?’ And that’s understandable considering how long it’s taken, but we appreciate being here now,” Beutler said during the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.
Beutler was one of the CVTD representatives who went before a legislative subcommittee in January asking for additional funding from the state to get the project through the finish line. The district requested a one-time funding gap of US$8 million to fill a funding gap created by inflation over the past two years. That amount would represent about 14% of the total cost of the project, according to a presentation CVTD made to state legislators.
The legislature has not granted the funding request, but the district is proceeding with its plans. One reason for the urgency is that much of the district’s funding comes from federal grants that must be used by the end of this year.
“Obviously this (denial) hurts, and that’s what we need to find out,” Beutler said Monday. “We’ll find a solution somehow.”
He added that the project will take time to complete and the district will likely return to the legislature in 2024 to reapply for the funds.
The administration and maintenance building will also allow for the growth of the transit district as they have outgrown their current building, according to Beutler. CVTD predicts that its ridership could grow by up to 245% by 2050, accounting for around 2.5 million trips per year.
With the additional space that comes with the new facility, CVTD will be able to make better use of renewable resources, including electric buses. He said Cache Valley has many of the same problems as the Salt Lake Valley, with congestion and air quality recurring in the area.
“Having transit as an option for people really helps mitigate some of those things,” Beutler said.
https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2023/03/08/set-grow-245-by-2050-cache-valley/ Cache Valley Transit is projected to grow 245% by 2050, driving expansion without money from lawmakers