By Jesse Drake
Plenty of perks await UIT/ITS employees moving to 102 Tower this fall: new office spaces, high ceilings, and abundant dining options, for starters.
That's not ignoring the fact that moving is stressful. It is, and invariably one of the more distressing changes centers around the commute.
For UIT/ITS staff members who choose public transportation, specifically TRAX light rail – good news – you should be rewarded with a shorter commute.
As a point of reference, let's start with the commute as it exists today from Courthouse station, downtown Salt Lake City’s central hub connecting TRAX blue and green lines to the University-bound red line.
Average times: Courthouse to stations commonly used by main campus UIT employees
Note: Commute times to/from the 585 and 650 Komas buildings weren't calculated due to an absence of practical TRAX options
To Stadium station (for Park building staff): 12 minutes on the train plus a 10-minute walk
To Fort Douglas station (for Eccles Broadcast Center staff): 16 minutes on the train plus a five-minute walk
To University Medical station (also for EBC staff): 17 minutes on the train plus a three-minute walk
In relation to 102 Tower, TRAX commuters should notice significantly less time on
Most people's best bet will be to disembark at City Center station, a mere four extra minutes by train north of Courthouse station. From there it's a seven-minute, 0.4 mile walk, a little more than two city blocks.
I'm not just talking the talk, I've walked the walk:
City Center to 102 Tower
The second closest option by foot is effectively a tie between Gallivan Plaza and Library stations – both about nine-minute, 0.5-mile walks. Gallivan requires more zigging and zagging; Library is basically a straight shot north on 200 East. Keep in mind that if you're not on the red line, getting to Library station will require a transfer and additional wait time between trains.
Gallivan Plaza to 102 Tower
Library to 102 Tower
Note: while not always easy to travel with, bikes are permitted on TRAX.
Park & Ride is a popular option for commuters. UTA provides free extended-stay parking at 30 TRAX stations, with eight additional lots offering free one-day parking.
To calculate travel time: on the train schedule, work from the station of arrival to your station of origin. In the following example, we’re assuming an 8:00 a.m. start time.
Red line schedule
First, set your direction of travel. For the red line, take the train that arrives at Library station at 7:50 a.m. (this is quicker than transferring) and walk from there. Backtracking on that row of the schedule, you can see when you need to arrive at your Park & Ride lot. If you park at Murray Central, for example, catch the 7:29 a.m. train, and so on.
Blue line schedule
Green line schedule
If you take either the blue or green lines, depart at City Center station and walk from there. For an 8:00 a.m. start time, you’ll want to be on the blue line train that arrives at City Central at 7:40 a.m. or the green line train that arrives at 7:47 a.m. On your respective schedule, scroll over to your Park & Ride lot of origin.
Another possibility is UTA bus, or a combination of train and bus (most TRAX stations have bus connections). Use UTA's Trip Planner to determine the best route. Bus stops nearest to 102 Tower are served by Route 209 or Route 220 bus lines:
A full listing of public transit options are available on the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) website. The site provides a Vehicle Locator, schedules and maps, and tutorial videos, among other handy rider tools.
Whether you drive yourself or leave the driving to someone else, we hope that the downtown location turns out to be less of a hassle than you might imagine.