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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Shuttle breakdown stalls campus traffic

By Rita Totten

First it was traffic, parking and TRAX8212;and now even shuttles are becoming irksome.
Passengers aboard a midafternoon campus shuttle found themselves stuck straddling a TRAX crossing Tuesday because of an electrical issue on the shuttle.

“The shuttle died en route and wouldn’t restart,” said Kevin Coggins, supervisor of Commuter Services.

This was the second campus shuttle to break down since the start of the semester.
Shaun Lauer, a junior in biomedical engineering, was on one of four U shuttles redirected because of the stalled shuttle on the TRAX line. Lauer and fellow passengers were given the option to get off the bus and walk to their final destinations or continue on a detoured route. About half of the riders decided to leave the shuttles, he said.

Police redirected traffic, making all drivers turn around and go back down University Street, Lauer said.

“No traffic could get around the broken shuttle,” he said.

On top of that, a few UTA city buses experienced an interruption in service as well, and many of their passengers chose to leave the bus, Lauer said.

Alma Allred, director of Commuter Services, said mechanics were looking at the shuttle to pinpoint the cause of the breakdown.

“Breakdowns rarely happen but any time you have shuttles working 18-hour days, eventually there will be mechanical problems,” Allred said.

All shuttles are under a service agreement and Commuter Services spends a lot of money every year to keep the buses on the road, he said.

Coggins said they won’t know the cost to fix the shuttle until the bill comes at the end of the month but he expects it will only be charged as a service call.

Mechanics were able to back up the stalled bus and remove it from the TRAX crossing on the north side of the stadium.

They brought a bus up alongside the out-of-commission shuttle to unload passengers.
Coggins said a couple of shuttles break down every month for all different issues8212;but they aren’t nearly as bad as this case.

“It was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Coggins said.

U Police Chief Scott Folsom said the U Police Department got the call regarding the stalled shuttle at 2:57 p.m. Tuesday. Folsom said officers had completed traffic control and the normal flow of traffic was restored at about 3:15 p.m.

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