Lori Champneys, FrontRunner commuter rail Train Host at Utah Transit Authority (UTA), nominated the agency’s October Rider of the Month.
Joe, the Rider of the Month, “is always smiling, very helpful and vigilant,” Lori says. “He is so fun to tease and is always so friendly. I thoroughly enjoy seeing his great smile every day I open the train door.”
Joe grew up in Fillmore and Leamington, Utah. “I spent most of my youth riding horses, wrestling and being a part of the Latin Club at Cottonwood High School,” Joe says.
After graduation, Joe jumped feet first into the working world. “Over the past 25 years, I have worked for Hewlett Packard Enterprise managing LINUX, Microsoft, and IBM servers for American Stores Company, Smith’s Food and Drug Store, Utah Solution Center, and Franklin Covey.” However, the past year was rough for Joe, as he was recently laid off. Despite these obstacles, Joe picked himself back up for his kids and started working at Bonneville International. “I have been fortunate to learn all these IT skills on-the-job without a college education.”
How long have you been riding?
Joe started riding FrontRunner when he began working for Bonneville International at the KSL building in Salt Lake City. “Bonneville provides all employees with free UTA passes. Plus, my son loves to ride the train all the time and told me I should start riding the train instead of driving.”
Why do you ride?
“I ride the train to get to work. That allows me to get to work without the stress or traffic or bad weather. I also like to head downtown on FrontRunner and TRAX [light rail] to enjoy a bite to eat or see some local entertainment. I also use FrontRunner and TRAX to get to and from the airport.”
Additionally, Joe loves riding from Lehi to downtown Salt Lake and admiring the views on FrontRunner. He loves spending his time working on the train, talking to the hosts and simply relaxing.
Do you have any rider tips?
“I was scared to use the train because it seemed so complicated. Luckily, my son showed me the ropes of figuring out the schedule and finding the stations.” Joe’s tip to riders is to remember to tap your UTA FAREPAY Card every time you ride FrontRunner and transfer to TRAX or bus. “My last piece of advice is just to hop on a train or bus, it’s not as scary as it looks and you will learn as you go.”