U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today attended the grand opening of the new Draper TRAX light rail line, which significantly expands transit options for thousands of residents and commuters in the Salt Lake City area. The extension, which connects downtown Salt Lake City to the suburb of Draper, is the final project in a seven-year, 70-mile effort. Secretary Foxx was joined at the event by Senator Orin Hatch, Deputy Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan, Governor Gary Herbert and local officials.
"This expanded light rail service has generated thousands of jobs and will improve access to employment and other economic opportunities for decades to come," said Secretary Foxx. "Salt Lake's bold vision to place transit within easy reach of residents and connect dozens of communities along the fast-growing Wasatch Front is an excellent example of how investments in transportation lay a strong foundation for future growth."
The Draper Light Rail Project, a 3.8-mile extension of Utah Transit Authority (UTA) TRAX service, created approximately 2,000 jobs during construction, according to UTA.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) committed $116 million for the Draper extension through its New Starts Capital Investment Grant Program.
"FTA has been proud to support Utah's efforts to more than double the region's transit rail capacity, bringing world-class public transportation choices to one of the country's fastest growing regions," said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. "Generations of riders will now have seamless access to Salt Lake City International Airport, the central business district, and Draper -- all without sitting in traffic on I-15."
The project includes three new stations with park-and-ride-facilities. The TRAX extension to Draper is the final project in UTA's Frontlines 2015 Program, a $2.9 billion program to build 70 miles of rail in seven years. Four new light rail lines and one new commuter rail line have more than doubled UTA's rail system. FTA committed approximately $545 million in total to the Frontlines 2015 Program, which includes $90 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.