Commuter line projects have paid off for Salt Lake City region, study shows

  • Utah Transit Authority (UTA) rail projects have resulted in 1,300 new jobs and $225 million in value to the local economy

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 4:16 pm EDT

Dateline:

Salt Lake City, UT
"As we look to the future, building on these investments wisely will ensure we continue to economically prosper."

A public transportation technology partnership between Salt Lake City and Siemens has resulted in 1,300 new jobs that have spurred an estimated $225 million in value to the local economy, according to a study conducted by the Economic Development Research Group, a Boston-based research company Siemens hired to assess the economic impact of the project. The study results were announced in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association Rail Conference.

“The Siemens cars that form the backbone of our TRAX light rail system and recently opened S-Line Streetcar here in Salt Lake City are reliably getting tens of thousands of our residents where they need to go every day,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. “Siemens technology is integral in our efforts to get cars off the roads, address our local air quality challenges and continue to improve the livability, and sustainability, of our community.”

"Siemens has been a great partner for our TRAX light rail system," said UTA President and CEO Michael Allegra. "TRAX has been reliable and a success by any measure with some of the highest ridership numbers in the entire UTA system. The economic development along our lines has been steady and a huge benefit to the entire community."

Since 1996, Siemens has manufactured and delivered 117 light rail vehicles for UTA’s TRAX light rail streetcar lines. The company is building the customized light rail vehicles out of its 800-person rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, California. Results indicate that the light rail extension reduced residents’ dependence on private vehicles and spurred high-density development, thereby decreasing the region’s carbon footprint, improving local air quality, and proactively managing traffic congestion.

"Utah's economy is leading the nation and this reports shows part of our success can be attributed to our commitment to transportation investment as a state," said Abby Albrecht, Director of Utah Transportation Coalition. "As we look to the future, building on these investments wisely will ensure we continue to economically prosper."

The study looked beyond well-documented short-term spending effects to also examine long-term economic benefits like spatial efficiency and private sector investment. For instance, major companies including Adobe, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Overstock.com, and Workday have made office location decisions based, in part, by proximity to the TRAX and FrontRunner stations.

“We’re proud that our long-standing technology partnership with the Utah Transit Authority has resulted not only in economic growth but job creation throughout the Salt Lake City region,” said Michael Cahill, President of Siemens Rolling Stock. “Rail projects like these are proof that when you spend on infrastructure, you get a multiplier effect that boosts productivity and attractiveness for investment.”

Siemens provides sustainable technologies for metropolitan areas to help move people and goods safely and efficiently, while improving the environmental footprint. Siemens' portfolio for infrastructure includes complete traffic and rail transportation systems, efficient energy supply and environmentally compatible building technologies. Siemens also provides ways to modernize how power is transmitted and distributed to enhance the smart utilization of electric power.

Researchers prepared the study using IMPLAN, an economic modeling system used by more than 500 U.S. public and private agencies. The system uses economic data specific to certain industries and regions to translate direct economic effects into spinoff effects.

For more information, please visit http://inr.synapticdigital.com/siemens/intelligentinfrastructure/.

Siemens’ Rail, Transit & Mobility Portfolio: Siemens Rolling Stock business unit is part of the Siemens Mobility Division which provides efficient and integrated transportation of people and goods by rail and road – including all products, solutions and services regarding mobility. Siemens designs and manufactures across the entire spectrum of rolling stock including commuter and regional passenger trains, light rail and streetcars, metros, locomotives, passenger coaches and high-speed trainsets. In the U.S., Siemens is providing rail vehicles, locomotives, components and systems to more than 25 agencies in cities such as Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Denver, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Houston, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, St. Louis, Atlanta and Charlotte. Cities also rely on Siemens to provide traction-power substations and electricity transmission, as well as signaling and control technology for freight and passenger rail and transit systems.  Siemens has transportation manufacturing hubs in: Sacramento, CA; Louisville, KY; Marion, KY; Pittsburgh, PA

Contact for journalists:

Annie Seiple
Tel.: 202-316-0219; E-mail: annie.seiple@siemens.com

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Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. With 343,000 employees in more than 200 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of approximately $98 billion in fiscal 2014. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $22.2 billion, including $5.2 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.