One of the problems that I have been thinking about with the growth taking place in Utah County is the balance that we need to strike between addressing the current needs and preparing for future needs, all with current resources. I am a vocal proponent of getting good transit here now and in the future, but how do you justify running light rail out to Cedar Fort when there are so few people living in Cedar Valley right now. Thankfully I was introduced to DMU’s which narrow the gap between no transit and transit that can’t be justified without large populations. DMU’s are being considered as a way to connect people outside the most populous areas of the Wasatch Front to the Frontrunner system that is being built to serve the main population bases north and south of Salt Lake City.
Essentially a DMU (diesel multiple-unit) is a single-unit self propelled vehicle that runs on rails. If the rails are compatible with light rail or commuter rail systems (and I’d like to find out if this is the case) they could be used as an introductory transit option in areas where the population is not yet dense enough to support the larger systems – especially in areas like the north and west parts of Utah County where we know that the population will become large enough to support a transit system like Salt Lake County already has. They can also be used to connect the further outlying areas with the main transit systems that serve the larger population centers.