Get trained: U officials promote safe use of UTA TRAX

By By Tyana Rees

By Tyana Rees

With gas prices rising and parking spaces decreasing, many U students are using the UTA TRAX system to get to campus.

“It takes away the hassle of finding a parking space, or spending tons of money on gas,” freshman Ryan Holman said. “It’s so much nicer to just jump on TRAX.”

Commuter Services estimates that approximately 10,000-12,000 people use UTA transportation to commute to campus each day. Due to past accidents, many of which occurred near campus or involved U students, UTA and Campus Police are stressing safety and precaution at the beginning of the new semester.

“The biggest mistake most first time riders make is not being ready to board when the train arrives,” said UTA spokesman Juston Jones.

Since each stop is only 15 seconds long, not having a ticket or other necessities ready can be a big problem. Being ready to board before the train arrives can help riders avoid many dangers. After boarding, sit down and take hold of a rail quickly, Jones said.

Bicycles are allowed on TRAX, but riders must follow special boarding regulations.

UTA will coordinate with Campus Security to present a safety campaign for the new school year by posting suggestions around campus.

When people pick up their free UTA Education Pass at designated campus locations, they are given a pocket brochure about safety, said Norm Chambers, assistant vice president of the U’s auxiliary services.

During the school year, auxiliary services meets every three months to identify, discuss and work out safety concerns, Chambers said.

Auxiliary services officers patrol campus on foot, on bike or in cars 24 hours a day, seven days a week and do selective traffic enforcement, said Lynn Rohland, administrative sergeant.

Officers pay especially close attention to TRAX stops and crosswalks during peak hours of use, Rohland said.

“Sometimes people aren’t purposefully breaking the law, they just don’t know,” Rohland said. “We feel education is vital to safety. We don’t always issue citations, sometimes just a chat about safety, and that’s all it takes.”

For more information about safety around TRAX, call 1-888-RIDE-UTA or log on to www.rideuta.com.

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