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Herbert: UTA Doing Better

Utah Transit Authority bus
KUER file photo
A Utah Transit Authority CNG bus in front of the Utah statehouse in Salt Lake City.

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert thinks the Utah Transit Authority is running better than it has in past years, even after another critical audit came out this week.

Governor Herbert was asked about the legislative audit at his monthly news conference on KUED.  It pointed out conflicts with developers controlled by UTA board members receiving money for transit-oriented building projects and again said that the agency’s top managers are getting salary and benefit packages higher than comparable jobs in Utah.

Herbert said his staff is looking at the audit and the agency’s detailed response.  But legally, UTA is a special service district created by local governments and Herbert says he has limited influence.

“I have one board appointment," Herbert told reporters, "and that’s Bishop David Burton, who I think is doing a wonderful job of bringing more openness and transparency to their conduct there.  Is it perfect?  No, but it’s clearly been moved into a better direction.  They’re in the right trajectory.  Do they have more to do? It appears maybe so, but I’m confident they’re going to get it done.”

The governor says it might be a good idea to include more elected officials on the UTA board so it could have better accountability to voters.

Herbert was asked whether he’s personally used UTA service.  He said he’s ridden both FrontRunner and TRAX trains and even got to drive the train once.

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