Our View: Workers need FrontRunner
Monday , February 17, 2014 - 9:37 AM
In the future, as changes and priorities are established with FrontRunner, it’s clear that a need exists in Northern Utah to have the trains stop where people are working.
We refer specifically to two locations: The Freeport Center in Clearfield and Business Depot Ogden in Junction City. Hill Air Force Base is another major employer that has transit needs, but the particularities of the base — including security concerns — present challenges. Fortunately, there are efforts to make it more convenient to commute to the base.
However, with Freeport and BDO, the FrontRunner trains go right past locations where it would be great for individuals who work there to have a convenient public transit option. One reason FrontRunner has this deficiency is that cities along the northern Top of Utah route chose to have stops that were more convenient for shopping. We can understand that sentiment; cities want easier access to the stores, with the potential of greater tax revenues.
However, there are problems with this reasoning. In our opinion, traveling north to go shopping is not a very popular option. Also, it’s fair to ask how many persons choose to go shopping via FrontRunner. The end result of the current FrontRunner scenario in northern Utah is that two major employers — Freeport and BDO — do not have a convenient FrontRunner route for their workers.
These areas are growing employment centers. BDO will make room for several hundred jobs with the addition of Esurance as a tenant.
It must be a goal — sooner rather than later — to make sure that there is worker access to our top employment centers.