Taxpayers are Subsidizing Public Transit

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The State subsidizes every TRAX rider. The Salt Lake Tribune reported in 2013: “Fares cover only a portion of the cost of rides. UTA figures this year it is spending $3.81 from sales-tax revenue to subsidize each ride beyond what fares cover. That varies greatly by type of ride. The subsidy so far this year is $1.34 per trip on TRAX, $4.59 by bus, $8.68 by FrontRunner and $27.33 for paratransit.”

When tax money is used for public transit, shouldn’t we be able to ride “free”? People in downtown Salt Lake ride UTA free. If we’re not allowed to ride “free”, shouldn’t we be required to pay the full cost of the ride?

Only a few people ride UTA. To most of them, UTA is essential. I’m not calling for UTA to exclude those riders. I would like those riders to ride without buying a ticket. The taxpayer is already paying most of the cost. Cap the salaries at UTA at $75,000. Currently, over 700 employees of UTA make more than $75,000 per year. The average family income in Utah is $59,770.

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