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Commuter Rail Cooperation

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To get commuter rail through Davis County up and running by 2007, as projected, there must be exceptional cooperation between Utah Transit Authority and the communities along the line.

Unfortunately, a bit of friction has developed.

On one hand UTA is concerned that local communities along the corridor might try to take advantage of the costly fast-track transportation project in order to get some of Uncle Sam’s money for pet local projects.

On the other hand the communities don’t want to be railroaded into submission and face the potential of funding essential services and adjunct needs from their tight local budgets.

In KSL’s view, both concerns have a degree of merit.

And it is why the legislature may have to step in with legislation that would allow UTA to bypass local approvals, permits and fees for anything it builds along the rail corridor. The project is too vital to the region’s overall transportation plan to let turf battles or sluggish local bureaucracies get in the way.

Legislation, though, should be a last resort.

Instead, KSL urges UTA to more aggressively find ways to address the concerns of the affected communities. And we encourage the communities to avoid any inclination of viewing commuter rail as a federal cash cow that will augment local projects.

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