(KCPW News) The Utah Transit Authority received more than $37 million in New Starts funding from the Federal Transit Administration Monday. The money is a reimbursement for the Mid-Jordan Trax Line and Frontrunner construction projects as part of a federal grant for transportation projects. UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter says the money came sooner than expected and will help free up local funds, making it easier to keep the ball rolling on current projects.
“We have three other light rail lines under construction.” He says. “We have another 45 miles of community rail down to Provo under construction and by getting this money early, it helps us with our cash flow, which will reduce our overall financing costs and allow us to keep moving those projects forward.”
Carpenter says The Mid –Jordan TRAX line is slated to open in August. He notes the advancement of funds shows the confidence the federal transit administration and the US Department of Transportation have in UTA projects.
“There were only a handful of projects that got advanced funding out of this unallocated money for 2010.” He says. “We’re one of the only major transit capital projects in the country right now that’s on budget and ahead of schedule and we’re really proud of that fact.”
Carpenter says the money is for capital projects only, so it cannot be used to counteract the rider fee hikes, which are expected to take place February 1st due to rising fuel costs.