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Jed Boal ReportingIn two weeks TRAX opens its newest light rail line that will take riders across the University of Utah campus to the Medical Center. Because it rolls through an open campus with a lot of foot traffic, TRAX wants everyone to stay alert.
It's always a good idea to pay attention when you approach TRAX lines, so UTA is spreading bright yellow fliers around campus to let everyone know "TRAX Rules".
Trax trains and staff are in training, cruising across campus, preparing for passengers September 29th. The rail cars are a permanent part of campus now.
Paul O'Brien, TRAX Director of Rail Operations: “The purpose is to familiarize our staff with the line, give us an opportunity to make sure everything is working as designed."
With stops in south campus, the Huntsman Center and the Medical Center, the line connects the two largest traffic generators in the state--downtown Salt Lake and The University. It’s now just seven minutes from the stadium to the hospital.
While jay-walking may be the norm on many campuses, that could get you killed at the U of U.
Paul O'Brien, TRAX Director of Rail Operations: “Stick to the crosswalks and stay off the tracks. It's pretty simple."
When the train starts running in two weeks, that opening will actually be a year ahead of schedule. TRAX estimates as many as three thousand people may ride in every day. But if the other lines are any indication of how many people may be on board, it could be twice that number.
Paul O'Brien, TRAX Director of Rail Operations: “It's just another opportunity to get people closer to where they want to go."
Mike Grodner, SLC Rail Constructors: “During construction, a lot of pedestrians used the trackway as a walkway, or jaywalking."
But after signs went up and trains started running more people have followed the rules. Some right and left turns are no longer allowed on South Campus Drive; motorists will have to get used to those. TRAX will be fine tuning the system during the next two weeks.