The Whole UTA Story

The Whole UTA Story
I would like to clarify some things written about Utah Transit Authority by City Weekly‘s Katharine Biele in her recent Hits & Misses [“Grueling World Travel,” Feb. 5].

Biele quotes The Salt Lake Tribune‘s story on travel when she criticizes UTA for not saying exactly why staff and board members take trips out of state. If she had phoned, I would have told her that we did indeed provide reasons for each trip taken, but the paper chose not to print any of them. Just because the Tribune writes an inflammatory article to attract readers doesn’t mean it is telling the entire story.

We also pointed out to Tribune reporter Lee Davidson that it is not a good analogy to compare a transit agency’s travel with that of the Utah Department of Transportation, a state agency responsible for road construction, maintenance and traffic control. Transit agencies have different needs when it comes to travel, such as studying the many types of rail, buses, payment devices, maintenance as well as operational and technological advances involved with operating an efficient transit system. We are also responsible for traveling to raise billions of dollars of federal discretionary funding, something an e-mail or phone call would not accomplish. Over the past decade, UTA has received more than $1.7 billion in discretionary and formula federal grants.

A blog post about UTA outreach is available on UTA’s website at

Remi Barron
Media Relations
Utah Transit Authority


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