UTA urges discretion

By Isabella Bravo, Staff Writer

In light of the death of Joseph Montgomery, a U student who was killed last week after crossing in front of a TRAX train, UTA is urging riders not to sacrifice safety to be on time.

“If you have to run for a train, it’s not your train,” said Carrie Bohnsack-Ware, Utah Transit Authority spokeswoman. “Just wait 15 minutes for the next one.”

Some students said it’s hard not to run to make the train. John Darrohn said he darts out of class every day to catch the light rail home. Darrohn, a senior in business, said the time between a train’s departure and when his classes let out is too close together for him not to run.

“Every class gets out at 1:45 p.m.,” he said, out of breath as he hopped onto the last car of the train. “It’d make a difference if they’d make it come five minutes later,” he added as the doors closed.

Bohnsack-Ware said the sight of hurried people running in front of trains is a daily concern for UTA drivers.

“It’s probably one of the most traumatic things, especially during big events, like U of U football games,” she said. “Or, when kids are pretending and they pretend to shove a friend in front and pull them back. I wish students would really understand how dangerous it is to do stuff like that in front of a train.”

Ashley Spencer, a junior in parks, recreation and tourism, rides the light rail to class four days a week and enjoys her time relaxing on the train, though she said waiting for TRAX is a little less enjoyable sometimes.

“One of the worst things is that it’s cold outside,” she said. Spencer said catching TRAX is hit and miss. “Sometimes I get there,” she said, referring to times when she has had to run to make the train.

Adam Pritchard, a sophomore in history, agreed.

“I used to catch the train at the 1300 East TRAX stop,” he said. “When you miss it, it’s a long bike ride.”

Rick Mejias, a junior in psychology, had just missed his train home and said he sees other people running for the train every day at the Stadium TRAX stop.

“I saw this guy this morning who was running,” he said. “The train was parked there for a while and he pushed the button, but I guess it had already decided it was going to go.”

Robert Shinkoskey, a junior in consumer and community studies who started taking TRAX and FrontRunner, UTA’s commuter rail, this semester, said he has had to run for the train but he’s not worried about getting hit, because he always runs across the rails behind the train.

“When I run, normally I catch the train,” he said.

[email protected]

Erik Daenitz

U student Vatsala Kal said that just missing TRAX trains is frustrating, but the service provides a convenient mode of transportation for her.