UTA Asking Drivers To Be Careful After Latest TRAX Incident
Oct 16, 2018, 9:29 PM
SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – For an organization where being on time is everything, Utah Transit Authority workers sure spent a lot of time explaining what was slowing them down Tuesday morning.
“It’ll get you to 5600 West and then the train will take you from there,” said a UTA worker to a passenger at the Daybreak Station in South Jordan.
Passengers on the last two South Jordan Red Line stops had to take a van or bus bridge to get further down the line because of a TRAX train crash, where the driver of a vehicle slammed into the side of the train Monday evening.
One look at the wreckage and you don’t need to be a transportation expert to know it’s going to take some time.
Workers were still repairing the line into Tuesday evening.
“Well, we just have to drive down to 56th. We recognize that guys have maintenance and everything,” said Alex Stephenson, who was planning on bringing his grandchildren on the TRAX train to go downtown.
He was hoping to teach them about trains.
Now, he’s going to teach them that, sometimes, things happen and it’s important to give yourself time to do things that might be unexpected, like bus bridges.
“If we didn’t have to have bus bridges, we would be perfectly happy,” said Carl Arky, who is UTA’s spokesperson.
Arky admits the need for bus bridges seem to be happening more the past month or so.
“It sort of feels like it. It does feel like that,” he said. “Some people will say it’s season because there are more people out and about doing things and they’re distracted. But I think people are distracted year-round.”
Many of the recent crashes involved a vehicle hitting a train because the driver of the vehicle was distracted.
“We ask people please put their cell phones away, take their ear buds out, pay attention,” said Arky.
Besides the time cost, there is a financial cost for all these crashes.
However, UTA says that cost is factored into their yearly operating budget.
They base it on the amount of repairs and bus bridges from the year before.
“That helps us guide our financial team and they can look at that and put that into the operating budget,” said Arky. “Some years, I would imagine that we come out ahead of the game. Some years we maybe didn’t put as much in as we probably or possibly needed.”
For as predictable as time is, the future is often unpredictable.