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SALT LAKE CITY—In early January, Acting Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Sherry Little, joined by Utah Transit Authority (UTA) officials and local leaders, signed a "full funding grant agreement" that will provide a $428.3 million federal grant toward extending a transit line from downtown Salt Lake to the growing cities of Murray, Midvale, West Jordan, and South Jordan. The 10.6-mile Mid-Jordan LRT line will open by December 2011. By the year 2030, the line is expected to carry 9,500 daily passengers, generate 3,700 new transit trips, and reduce the number of highway miles traveled by 65,000 daily.

"The Mid-Jordan extension is the latest federal down payment to support Utah’s visionary and ambitious effort to develop a world-class public transportation ’backbone’ by 2015," Little said. "This investment helps ensure that Utah, as the ’crossroads of the West,’ is well positioned to compete for new jobs, new businesses, and a vibrant tourist trade."

When complete, the project will include nine stations, 3,035 park-and-ride spaces, and 28 transit vehicles. Trains are expected to operate daily between 6 a.m. and midnight with service every 12 minutes during weekday peak periods, and every 15 minutes during the remainder of the time.

Mid-Jordan LRT service will join with UTA’s Sandy/Salt Lake TRAX Line at the existing Fashion Place West station, providing a direct connection to the Salt Lake City central business district, the University of Utah, and other Wasatch destinations.

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