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A week after its new airport TRAX line opened, the Utah Transit Authority announced Monday that it will now allow long-term parking for airline travelers at two parking lots where UTA already has been charging for parking. Neither is directly on the airport line.
The extended parking is available at the Draper FrontRunner station, 12997 S. FrontRunner Blvd., and at the red line Jordan Valley TRAX station at 3400 W. 8600 South in West Jordan. Parking costs $1 a day (drivers may tell pre-pay machines how long they plan to park), or a monthly pass may be purchased for $15. Long-term parking at the airport costs $9 per day.
Neither of the newly designated UTA long-term lots are on the green TRAX line that goes right to the airport from West Valley City, but travelers can make one transfer from either the red TRAX or FrontRunner lines to the green line.
Parking at all other UTA parking lots is limited to 24 hours and is free. Cars in violation of the short-term parking policy may be ticketed or towed.
Charles Henderson, a UTA board member, complained about that policy to colleagues in meetings as the airport TRAX extension opened, saying airline travelers almost always will be away for more than 24 hours and urged that the parking policy be reviewed.
UTA spokesman Remi Barron said Monday that UTA chose to allow extended parking at the two lots because they are garages with plenty of extra spaces available normally. Also, they offer covered parking so lots do not need to be vacated for snow removal.
"There are cameras there with surveillance, offering extra security," Barron said. "Both lots are a logical place for people in the south part of the valley who don't want to drive their vehicle all the way to the airport."
UTA's announcement said the extended parking is offered on a trial basis, and the agency will evaluate safety, security and maintenance issues before deciding whether to make extended parking available permanently.
The announcement also said UTA is studying parking policies and practices at other transit agencies that operate rail lines to airports. UTA said it wants to find a balance between security and convenience and will consider adding more multiday parking facilities based on the analysis and the success of extended parking at the first two lots.