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New converts to airport TRAX: Mormon missionaries

Published April 19, 2013 7:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Taking mass transit to catch flights at Salt Lake City International Airport has some interesting new converts: Mormon missionaries.

"We are testing the FrontRunner/TRAX combination as an option to transport missionaries from the Provo MTC [Missionary Training Center] to the Salt Lake International Airport," said Scott Trotter, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Buses and vans had been used to shuttle missionaries from the MTC — where they learn languages and receive other training — to the airport as they head for assignments around the world.

But completion of the new TRAX extension to the airport this week has the Salt Lake City-based faith experimenting. It is sending some missionaries from Provo to Salt Lake City on the new FrontRunner commuter train, which was completed in December, where they can transfer to the new airport TRAX line.

The church is experimenting whether it is better to send luggage with them or separately by truck.

While all that is still experimental, Trotter says the church has fully converted to using mass transit for those missionaries leaving the MTC to serve in missions in northern Utah.

"We are using FrontRunner to transport missionaries from the Provo MTC to the Salt Lake and Ogden missions," Trotter said.

In past eras, families often looked forward to seeing missionaries at the airport before they departed for their final mission destinations, but LDS leaders now discourage that.