Romney Welcomes Investment from Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to Update Utah’s Light Rail System

$60 million awarded to Utah Transit Authority for its Light Rail Vehicle Replacement Project

SALT LAKE CITY—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today applauded an announcement from the Department of Transportation that Utah Transit Authority would be awarded $60 million for its Light Rail Vehicle Replacement Project as part of the Federal Transit Authority’s (FTA) Rail Vehicle Replacement program. The FTA program—established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—was designed to help transit agencies replace aging rail rolling stock, which would improve the reliability, safety, and accessibility of our country’s rail transit systems.

“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. “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 help ensure our TRAX Light Rail System meets Utahns’ needs for decades to come.”

“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.”

“UTA is delighted by the grant award announcement of $60 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s Rail Vehicle Replacement Grant Program,” says Carlton Christensen, Chair of UTA’s Board of Trustees. “We are extremely appreciative of Utah’s Congressional Delegation leaders and to the FTA for their strong support for this critical transit project and for important infrastructure investments in Utah. This $60 million in federal funding will help UTA replace older high-floor TRAX cars with new low-floor cars, which will make the TRAX Light Rail System more accessible to those with disabilities and will make much-needed safety and modernization improvements to our transit system in anticipation of another Olympic Games in Utah. In particular, we want to express our deep appreciation to Senator Romney for his advocacy and support of the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which provided the grant funding that made it possible for UTA to apply for these funds.”

“This significant federal grant funding award will have a substantial impact on our region,” said Andrew Gruber, Executive Director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council. “By replacing UTA’s original light rail vehicles, the TRAX System will be even safer and more accessible for our community. We appreciate the hard work of Senator Romney and our entire Congressional Delegation in supporting critical federal investments for transportation infrastructure across the Wasatch Front and throughout Utah.”

“As the current President of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, I applaud the announcement of this $60 million federal grant award to UTA to replace old TRAX rail cars,” said Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini. “Senator Romney and Utah’s entire federal delegation in Washington, DC deserve our appreciation for this essential federal investment in Utah’s public transit system. Public transit a critical part of Utah being able to address some of our most pressing challenges related to roadway congestion, air quality, and ensuring we have accessible transportation alternatives for our residents to be able to enjoy a great quality of life.”

“Cities like South Jordan, which are connected to the downtown corridor by UTA’s TRAX Light Rail System, are so pleased to see additional federal funding to enhance and improve the system,” said South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey. “With these much-needed federal dollars, UTA will be able to replace outdated TRAX rail cars to make the system more accessible. We thank Senator Romney and his colleagues in Congress for prioritizing investments to expand transportation options for our region.”

“It is great news that UTA has been awarded $60 million from the Federal Transit Administration for needed improvements to the TRAX System,” said Lehi Mayor Mark Johnson. “We appreciate Senator Romney and his staff’s work to help UTA secure this funding and to forward Utah’s transportation goals. We look forward to the potential of light rail eventually being constructed into Lehi City and Utah County.”


Negotiated by Senator Romney and his colleagues, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a once-in-a-generation investment which will address decades of neglect of our nation’s hard, physical infrastructure without raising taxes or adding to the debt. Details on how the bill is working to benefit Utah can be found here.

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has identified safety and accessibility updates that are needed to modernize Salt Lake City’s light rail system. FTA’s $60 million grant will allow for the refurbishment of 20 light rail vehicles—replacing the high-floor cars with low-floor vehicles to increase accessibility, enhance safety, and improve the system’s state of good repair.