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Utah receiving $60 million to replace 20 passenger railcars

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Tom Joyce

(The Center Square) - Utah is getting money from the federal government to improve its rail services. 

The Utah Transit Authority is set to receive $60 million from the federal government to purchase 20 new light rail vehicles. These new vehicles will replace older railcars that are currently in use. 

Last week, the United States Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration announced the new funding. It was one of six transit systems across the country to receive grant funding from the department to replace aging passenger railcars. The funding came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law President Joe Biden signed into law in 2021.

"Every day, millions of Americans rely on subways, commuter rail, and light rail to get to work or school, buy groceries, and see loved ones, but many railcars still in service are decades old and in need of replacement," U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release issued by his office. "These grants will help bring riders faster, safer, more reliable service on America’s rails."

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who supported the 2021 infrastructure bill, welcomed the news. 

“The bipartisan infrastructure bill was crafted to help our country to meet the infrastructure-related challenges of the 21st century, and I was proud to help lead negotiations to secure needed resources for Utah,” Senator Romney said in a press release issued by his office. “Our state is working hard to modernize Utah’s transit infrastructure to accommodate the rapid growth we’re experiencing, and this award will go a long way to help ensure our TRAX Light Rail System meets Utahns’ needs for decades to come.”

Additionally, Romney earned praise from Utah Governor Spencer Cox for negotiating and supporting the bill that provided this funding.

“This important investment supports our efforts to provide high-quality transportation choices so Utahns can stay connected to the things that matter most, like family, work, school, and recreation,” Gov. Spencer Cox said. “We’re grateful to Sen. Romney and others, whose efforts helped secure the necessary funding, and for the continued collaboration between our transportation agencies.”