The Utah Valley Express (UVX) Completion Celebration was held on Thursday, January 24, in the cities of Orem and Provo. UVX, the new bus rapid transit line that services the two cities, had a soft opening on August 13, 2018, but final completion of construction was celebrated on Thursday by key project stakeholders and partners.

Speakers from Utah Valley Express, Brigham Young University, Orem and Provo cities welcomed the day’s events, followed by a rousing performance from UVU’s Green Man Group and a visit from BYU’s Cosmo the Cougar.

Attendees of the event first gathered at Orem Central Station, where Orem Mayor Richard Brunst and UVU President Astrid Tuminez greeted participants and vocalized their support for the UVX project. “This project will have a lasting impact on our community,” Mayor Brunst said after he enthusiastically joined the Green Man Group on the drums.

President Tuminez expressed her love of public transportation, while asserting that the opening of UVX and the free student passes at her university has helped UVU students find sustainable and reliable ways to get to school.

Once the speakers finished, participants gathered onto the UVX bus for a special tour of the line. Along the way, Cosmo the Cougar boarded and handed out BYU-themed goodie bags, slapping hands and striking poses. The bus stopped at the historic Provo Library and let the passengers off, where they gathered for a luncheon.

As they got their food, the attendees were able to watch a compilation of “Air Transit” videos, directed and choreographed by BYU dance professor Keely Song Glenn. These dance videos encompass the spirit of public transportation and clean air initiatives.

Once the videos and the food was finished up, the event was opened up by Mayor Michelle Kaufusi of Provo, who cited former Mayor Curtis’s significant contribution to the project and her dedication to Provo’s future. She was followed by President Kevin Worthen of BYU. He referenced that up until UVX opened and free student passes were distributed, BYU’s campus was missing valuable transportation assets.

President Worthen was followed by UTA Trustee Carlton Christensen, who gave an overview of the project and shared some of the impressive statistics that have followed the opening. After Trustee Chirstensen’s remarks, a video from now Representative John Curtis’s office was shown, where he expressed his support and excitement about the opening of UVX. Mayor Richard Brunst spoke once more, followed by Carlos Braceras, Executive Director of UDOT. All speakers expressed appreciation to all the organizations that formed a part of Utah Valley Express.

UVX has been open to the public since August 13, 2018, and construction is now finished on the remaining parts of the project. Buses run every 6-15 minutes during most parts of the day. More information on the route can be found here.

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