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Bipartisan support for expansion of UTA Frontrunner

Transit Revitalization And Infrastructure Needs act or 'TRAIN'
Posted at 11:31 AM, Feb 18, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Back on home turf after a tumultuous few months in Washington, Congressmen John Curtis and Ben McAdams say they are re-focused on their main job of working for the people of Utah and their transportation needs.

They’re working together, across the aisle, on legislation that will expand UTA Frontrunner service along the Wasatch Front.

On Tuesday, they introduced the Transit Revitalization and Infrastructure Needs act or TRAIN.

It’s part of a larger, $2.3 billion federal transportation bill and will allow Utah to apply for millions in grant money to make Frontrunner more efficient.

The goal is to reduce gridlock on our roads and help communities better plan for future growth.

"Hopefully in the coming years we can get the grant funding we need to support the state and local funding to double-track Frontrunner and to electrify Frontrunner which will be an incredible service improvement," Rep. Ben McAdams (D) Utah said.

Frontrunner’s 90 mile long rail line currently serves 2.3 million people along the Wasatch Front, and that number is expected to grow, a lot, over the next 10 years.

UTA officials say it’s critical that we start planning now for the growth.

"Our booming population and economy demand a strategic, long term vision for transit," UTA Executive Director, Carolyn Gonot said. "That begins with Frontrunner."

So if all goes according to plan with this proposed legislation and it passes, Utah could be applying for those federal grant dollars by the end of this year.

That means construction and expansion of Frontrunner could happen within the next couple of years.