Lawmakers hear of ‘hurdles’ to state takeover of Utah Transit Authority

in Politics

SALT LAKE CITY — There doesn’t seem to be much interest in a state takeover of the Utah Transit Authority and its $2 billion debt, but some Utah lawmakers aren’t ready to close the door entirely on the possibility it could still happen in the future.

“I think we are very early in the process,” Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, said at a Transportation Interim Committee meeting last week, after criticizing the final report from a consultant on the feasibility of transitioning the public transit district into a state entity for stopping short of making specific recommendations.

“There’s nothing new. I think there’s some great information, a regurgitation of things already known. Is this report exactly what I wanted? No,” Harper, the committee’s Senate chairman, said, noting it did not address whether UTA should be part of the Utah Department of Transportation or a separate state agency under the executive branch.

Still, Harper said the 2018 legislative overhaul of UTA that he sponsored appears to be working.

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