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Middle school girls learn about transportation jobs

By Alexandria Autrey

SALT LAKE CITY – The Northern Utah Chapter of Women’s Transportation met with almost 50 middle school girls Wednesday to encourage them to study science, technology, engineering, and math, which are also known as STEM subjects.

Students from the Northwest Middle School and Salt Lake Center for Science Education were able to learn about the planning, funding, designing and engineering of the new Sugar House street car line.

Tracy Harty, Northern Utah Chapter of Women’s Transportation president, said preparation should begin before high school.

“Think about the classes you’re taking in high school,” she said. “Look at all of these women who have successful careers, and they took science and they took math. They’re really good at their jobs, and they’re moms, and they’re married or single or whatever, but we want to show them that they can do it.”

Salt Lake City’s Bike Share program expanding amid success

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s been one month since Salt Lake City implemented its green Bike Share program.

The bikes can be rented for 30-minute intervals and are found at stations all around downtown.

Program organizers say it’s been a success so far.

“The bikes are accessible. I’ve never been to a stop or I guess a station where there isn’t a bike or a dock when I need to drop one off,” said Ryan Evans.

Ben Bolte, director of the Bike Share program, says that in the last 30 days, around 1,300 people have made more than 4,400 trips.

The program has been so successful, in fact, the city will be expanding.

“We’ve secured enough funding to add an extra two stations and another 30 docks. We want to get each station up to 20 docks and right now they’re at 13,” Bolte said.

Airport bag thefts spike, TRAX used as getaway vehicle

SALT LAKE CITY — The opening of Utah Transit Authority’s Airport TRAX line is already proving popular — with travelers and thieves.

The newly opened line is seeing a surge in riders to Salt Lake City International Airport. But airport officials told FOX 13 on Friday they are also seeing a spike in luggage thefts from baggage carousels and TRAX is being used as a getaway vehicle.

“They come out multiple times,” said airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann. “Time it well with the train, get off the train, take something from the bag carousel and get back on. That seems to be the pattern.”

By the time someone reports their luggage stolen, Gann said, the thief is long gone.

Travelers taking advantage of new Airport TRAX line

SALT LAKE CITY – The new Airport TRAX line officially opened on Sunday and ridership appears to be off to a good start.

Both locals and visitors seem to be taking advantage of the airport connection. One traveler from Los Angeles took advantage of the price and convenience.

“Typically we take the shuttle or taxis and that’s relatively expensive,” he said. “Since I’m a single person, it just makes sense to be cognizant of cost.”

TRAX security officers say they’ve noticed a lot of riders testing the new stop out for upcoming air travel.

“It’s fantastic. It’s easy, Especially for senior citizens it’s only $1.25. It’s cheaper than having someone from my family take me. All they have to do is drop me off at the station in Murray and I live three blocks from it so that’s good,” said Jim Morgan, who was taking his first trip on Thursday.

Locals divided on Sugar House Streetcar path

SALT LAKE CITY – There’s a battle brewing over where the Sugar House Streetcar route should go. 11th East or 21st South? Two groups are divided and are making sure their voices are heard.

The two groups are local businesses along 1100 East and Westminster College students. Salt Lake City, however, was given the recommendation to construct the streetcar route along 1100 East, but not every Council Member is on board with that.

There was a small group of protesters who held signs, speaking out against a proposal to construct a streetcar route down 1100 East in Sugar House Wednesday afternoon.

“The reason why we’re against it on 11th east is because of how busy it is on 11th as it is, and the streetcar stops at every other block and it’s a very narrow street, this is a walkable district,” says Eliza James who owns Boxing for Girls.

SLC police increase patrols near new airport TRAX line

SALT LAKE CITY — Police have paid special attention to the areas of Salt Lake City near the new TRAX line to Salt Lake City International Airport, and the result has been nearly 50 arrests and citations since Monday.

Police said the arrests and citations are in response to complaints from residents and business owners. This type of geographically-targeted operation used to be called a sweep or a crackdown, but it is now referred to as an “order maintenance operation.”

Detective Veronica Montoya, Salt Lake City Police Department, said criminal activity, and thus complaints, increase this time of year.

“The complaints range from jaywalking to prostitution to drugs in the neighborhood,” she said. “We are just taking a pro-active approach.”

Salt Lake City Police increased patrols in the area this week, which led to arrests.

‘Smart Trips’ helps commuters take advantage of alternate transit

SALT LAKE CITY – The new TRAX and bike lanes on North Temple are expected to dramatically change the way commuters will get through Salt Lake City. A city-sponsored program is designed to help people take full advantage of the new transportation options.

City-sponsored Smart Trips is designed to help people reduce their environmental impact and take advantage of alternate transportation options. Every year, they focus on one neighborhood, and this year’s focus is on the Fairpark area of west Salt Lake City.

“It’s really important that people be creative about their transportation options to make it just as easy to take public transportation or actively walk or ride your bike,” said Sarah Rose Tannenbaum, program coordinator for Smart Trips.

Mark Kennedy, who rides his bike to work every day, thinks a lot more people will start doing the same thanks to the new Airport TRAX line.