Thomas Gilmore, UTA Rail Project Administrator, nominated Mary Gilliland for the November Rider of the Month. “Mary rides on FrontRunner, TRAX, S-Line and bus every day. She won’t let not having a driver license slow her down. We have implemented a variety of her suggestions to improve our service and system.”
Mary was raised in Inglewood, California, with her three brothers, sister, mom and dad. “I always had a pair of skates on growing up,” says Mary. “If I wasn’t skating, I was riding my bike.”
Mary moved to Torrance after graduating from high school. She was married a year later. “I followed in my father’s footsteps and worked for Douglas Aircraft for a few years before pursing a career as a live-in caregiver for the next 25 years.”
Mary moved to Utah in the 1970's. She vividly remembers that the roads were not cleaned back then, and there was no public transportation in Kearns. “My kids and I had to rock the car back and forth to get it out of the driveway.”
Over the course of her life, Mary has lived back and forth in California and Utah. Currently, she has moved back to Utah to live in the Salt Lake City Avenues neighborhood.
Why do you ride?
At the age of 81, Mary can’t drive any more so she uses public transportation to visit her three children and grandkids, go the store, see a movie, or go to a social gathering. “I rely on UTA to get me everywhere,” says Mary. “There are not too many places I can’t go to with UTA bus, TRAX or FrontRunner. I really enjoy riding UTA.”
How long have you been riding?
Mary has been riding UTA for the past three years.
Any tips or suggestions for riders?
“People are afraid to ride the bus or train because they are worried they will get hurt or robbed. Over the past three years I have never had anything happen to me.” Mary feels UTA is very safe. “The train hosts, operators, police and fellow riders are always looking out for you. They also help me with my suitcase throughout my trip to Lehi.”
Mary wanted to make sure we gave a shout out to Jonathon Coy, the helpful Customer Focus agent that helps Mary over the phone anytime she needs assistance planning her trip.