March Rider of the Month: Long Time UTA Employee and Rider
“Dennis is always friendly on the train, and offers lots of amazing stories to me and the other riders. It’s so nice to have a friendly face on the train every day.”
Three Generations of Mechanics
Dennis was born in North Carolina with his three sisters, brother, mom, and dad. “I remember as a little kid working on the tobacco farm growing up. As I got a little older, my dad sold the farm and began working as an auto mechanic with me by his side.”
After high school, Dennis served an LDS mission at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He then moved out to Utah to work at Powder River Enterprises to repair cattle handling equipment. At this same time he met the love of his life, and started attending Utah Technical College for Diesel Mechanic. When he graduated, he worked a mechanic and shop foreman before getting hired on at UTA as a Mechanic Helper for the 2001 Olympics. “It was really hectic during the Olympics to keep all the buses moving, but it was an amazing experience to see everyone at UTA working so hard to get tourists and residents to their Olympic events.”
Over the past 14 years, Dennis has worked in Meadowbrook bus maintenance in Maintenance Training. “I have been working on cars, trucks and buses my whole life. It brings me great satisfaction to see a previously broken vehicle drive out the garage when I am done fixing it. I also really enjoy teaching the next mechanic the tricks of the trade. I am also proud that my oldest son is following my footsteps as a Journeyist Mechanic at UTA’s Timpanogas Service Yard. We have three generations of mechanics in our family. I am also proud that my wife is a UVU professor, and my three kids are a nurse, general manager and computer scientist.”
How long have you been riding?
“I have been riding FrontRunner since it started heading southbound ten years ago. I ride every day during the work week from Orem to Murray Central and then ride TRAX to Millcreek and the 3300 South Bus Route to get to work.”
Why do you ride?
“I ride the UTA to work and home because I hate driving on the freeway. Plus, I don’t have to pay for a car payment, insurance, gas or repair.”
Do you have any rider tips?
“I recommended riders sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.”
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