In Utah, scientists use passenger trains to study air pollution

Utah Transit Authority (UTA) light-rail trains are helping local scientists study air pollution in the Salt Lake Valley. As part of an ongoing project, University of Utah researchers in 2014 installed a special sensor on one of the agency's TRAX light-rail vehicles. They installed a second air quality sensor on another TRAX unit in 2016.

These monitors pick up data about ozone, particulate matter and greenhouse gases as the rail cars move along the UTA's Red and Green lines. The information is aimed at giving researchers a better understanding of the spatial variation of air pollutants in the area.

To learn more about this project, I got in touch with one of the researchers, along with my contacts at the UTA. Check out my recent online story to see what I learned.

Have you heard of any similar projects? What do you think about replicating this kind of project elsewhere in the United States? (or North America?) Let me know in the comments section below or on

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