TRAX Celebrates 50 Million Riders

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    By Ashley Evanson

    The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) on Wednesday, (Oct. 25, 2006) celebrated its 50 millionth rider on the TRAX light rail system since its opening in 1999.

    John M. Inglish, UTA general manager, praised the success of TRAX, which has produced numbers that are years ahead schedule. “This is a kind of success that will be with us for many, many decades to come.”

    When TRAX opened seven years ago, the public did not receive it with open arms. In fact, the idea was very much opposed, and many thought that it would fail, according to several members of the UTA board of trustees who helped in the construction of TRAX.

    “This has not been an easy thing to bring about,” Inglish said.

    However, seven years later, TRAX stands as a national model of excellence in transportation. Last year when gas prices were at record highs, TRAX was nationally recognized for its high ridership numbers, and was spotlighted on CNN, the CBS Evening News and in USA Today.

    According to studies done by UTA, the 50 million passengers that rode TRAX saved 259.8 million pounds of air pollution and 12.5 million gallons of gasoline.

    “Our community understands that this is a very important part of the future, not only their future, but their grandchildren”s,” Inglish said.

    At the celebration, Murray City Mayor Dan Scharr said, “It”s been one sweet ride, 50 million sweet rides.”

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