Friday, December 31, 2010


In honor of it being, well, New Year's, I decided to post some fearless predictions:

ONE. There is a chance that BYU will, in fact, not discontinue the discounted student bus pass.  There is a similar chance that the moon will simultaneously turn to jello, plummet to the earth, and fall into little cups, thus ridding commutergirl and I of the difficult responsibility of figuring out what to serve at our wedding reception.
TWO.With the discontinuation of the BYU student bus pass, the number of students riding the bus will also turn to jello, plummet to the earth, and fall into little cups.  Anyone else getting married soon?
THREE.Since no one will be riding the bus through BYU anymore, UTA will consider rerouting the 831, 832, and 833.  Then, two weeks before Change Day, they will decide to cancel them altogether.  The 862, which will still be carrying less than any of them, will incongruously continue running every half-hour.
FOUR.With fewer buses going through BYU, UTA will discontinue the bus stop at the Wilkinson Center.  Buses will, instead, start stopping at the Creamery on Ninth, and only for a few seconds, with UTA instructing passengers that, if they want to get off there, they will have to "take a running jump, it's good for you."
FIVE.Passengers will, surprisingly, take UTA at its word, and the resulting injuries caused by, in technical terms, "bones hitting concrete", will result in numerous lawsuits that, once the financial damages are added up, result in UTA's being forced to close their doors forever.
SIX.After all this, and realizing that no one, including the Busninja, has ridden the 232 for seventeen years, UTA will officially cancel it, just to rub it in.
p.s. Commutergirl has just informed me that, even if the moon were to simultaneously turn to jello, plummet to the earth, and fall into little cups, under no circumstances will we be having jello at our wedding reception.  So there.

Friday, December 24, 2010


In honor of it being, well, Christmas, I wanted to share some holiday joy with you.

All the best to you and yours.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Dear stupid Provo pedestrian:

You cannot be unaware of the fact that Provo is icy and snowy sometimes in the winter. Obviously this is not all the time, but I'm sure you can tell the difference. This leads me to my question:


People WALKING on the ice and snow sometimes slip and fall. Do you think that this experience will be more fun if you are ROLLING down the sidewalk?


Wednesday, December 22, 2010



Every year there is a miss the bus day. It's different every year. But I officially declare November 29, 2010 to be National Miss the Bus Day this year.

I realized this morning that I wasn't going to catch the 831 in time to go to school on time. So I resolved to catch the next closest bus that goes to BYU from my house, which happens to be the 830. But, of course, I started walking toward the 831 bus stop as soon as I went out my front door, so I had to turn around and head back to the 830 stop.

The delay caused by initially going the wrong direction, combined with the delay caused by walking on an icy sidewalk resulted in my seeing the 830 passing by just when I was out of reach of it. I also didn't want to start running down an icy sidewalk. I have my tailbone to think of.

So I glumly continued walking to the next closest bus, which was the 833. By this time I was in downtown Provo, and had I walked in the opposite direction, I would be at the southern end of BYU campus instead of in downtown Provo, but, dang it, I was taking the bus, and I was going to take it, even if I had to walk five blocks in the wrong direction.

I dutifully took up my post at Center and University to wait for the 833. I was there in plenty of time, but of course, as I was waiting, I saw the next 830 go by. Of course.

I was mildly vindicated by the fact that, when the 833 finally got to BYU, it was still ahead of the 830 I had seen go by. I was unvindicated by the fact that when the 833 got to BYU, the next 831 was pulling in on the opposite side of the street. I could have stayed home . . .

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


On the 830 the other day, I was just sitting there, enjoying the sensation of riding the bus, when I noticed that the girl in front of me was apparently prepping to get off the bus, even though she hadn't pulled the cord. I was concerned for her; was she not aware of the lettering just inches from her head that said "Pull cord to signal/Jale el cordón para pedir parada"?

I thought to myself, she's lucky that someone is waiting at this bus stop, otherwise she wouldn't even be able to get off. But the joke was on me.

It turned out that the girl in front of me was not, in fact, trying to get off the bus. When the other girl got on the bus that was waiting at the stop, the girl who was already on the bus got up and handed her two dollars, so that she could pay her bus fare.

Still a risky maneuver, but not as risky as trying to get off the bus without pulling the cord.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Dear stupid Provo driver:

I'm going to assume that you're not from around here. Because it'll make you look better.

If you aren't from here, you might not realize that although Orem Main St. is called "Main St.", it is actually a very minor two-lane road. One going either way. You also might not know that there's a bus (we call it "the 831" that goes down it every half-hour from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays. You also might not know it was a weekday, but that might be pushing it.

Anyway, regardless of whether you know these things, if you can't see a 45-foot bus coming down Main Street when you're pulling out onto it, you either weren't looking or you need new glasses. In either case, you shouldn't have been driving at all.


Friday, December 17, 2010


I sometimes react strongly to people calling the bus smelly. It's generally not.

But two days ago on the 833, when I got on it smelled like a human being, or possibly a wildebeest, had gotten on and sat there for three months without bathing, then died, then continued to sit there for another three months, and then got off.

That was smelly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Dear stupid Provo driver:

Things so often seem to come in two's on this blog. Like stupid driving errors.

Like #24, you seemed to think it appropriate to suddenly leave a turning lane and speed off down the through lane next to it. Unlike #24, however, you were unlucky enough to have someone else in the intersection as you were trying to speed through it.

I could see the exasperated look on your face. I hope you were exasperated about yourself, because the other driver was just calmly turning left when you almost ran into him. He felt it was okay to turn left because when he checked the intersection, as he is supposed to do, there was no one coming. He certainly wasn't counting on you darting out from behind the car in front of you in the turning lane.

If he hadn't been driving defensively, you would have collided. Be more like him next time, okay?


Tuesday, December 14, 2010



Remember that time I said it would have been enough to get new buses, even if they were never on the 831?

Last Saturday, I got on the 831. It was a '10 bus.


Monday, December 13, 2010


Dear stupid Provo driver:

In the first place, it's your fault for going out to eat right after a BYU football game. Traffic is atrocious. Next time, don't do it.

If you can't resist the urge to do it, though, please at least consider that turning lanes are TURNING LANES, i.e. you can't change lanes into and out of them at a traffic light to get around traffic.

You succeeded, because there were no cop cars around. You got away with it this time, but you still have no soul.


Saturday, December 11, 2010


The other day I was coming back from the gym. It being Saturday, this was a somewhat convoluted operation. I had to first get on the 832, then on the 830 (I could have also walked, but it was cold).

The 832 picked me up, as it usually does when I am waiting for it. All was well until we got to BYU, when I stood in front of the back door expecting it to open. It didn't. I briefly considered whether I should say anything, since BYU is a mandatory stop and I didn't have to pull the cord, but I decided to speak up before the bus started pulling away. "Can I get the back door, please? Thanks."

Then I got on the 830. I didn't pull the cord to get off the 830 either, but the person who beat me to it had excellent cord-pulling skills. The other person got off, and there I was standing in front of the back door again. "Can I get the back door, please? Thanks."

I couldn't help wondering: can the bus driver sometimes not see a 6'3" 210 lb. man standing in the aisle? I really should work on being more noticeable.

Friday, December 10, 2010


People sometimes wear funny things to the gym. Things they wouldn't wear anywhere else. I hope. There are even man laws about this; some things are apparently okay to wear inside a gym that would normally call your man-status into question. When you run into someone wearing something a little odd at the gym, you don't usually make much of it. It often happens that the guy in the spandex full bodysuit is bigger than you.

But most people that wear funny things to the gym drive cars.

It's not that I wear anything too strange to the gym. I will admit that my sleeveless "BYU Football" shirt is a little odd, since it's BYU, and not all of my gym shorts go down to my knees. Cut me a break, I'm 6'3".

But apparently it's weird to see someone in gym clothes waiting at a prominent bus stop in the middle of Provo. Because I get a lot of stares . . .

Thursday, December 9, 2010



I'm going to a concert tomorrow!

Actually, two.

And an art show. It's going to be quite the cultural experience.

I got an email today from BYUArts. They asked me, since there are several events going on in the same evening, to come early so I can find a parking spot, and to park judiciously. When I opened the email, I couldn't help thinking


I don't need your stupid parking.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


On December 12, UTA will enact their latest round of "Service Changes", as they are euphemistically known around here. Service reductions often rub a lot of people the wrong way. My feelings about the latest ones are mostly positive, however:

Cancellation of Early-morning and Late-night 831's:
I am actually in support of this one, despite being an eight-thirty-wunner; I don't generally hold with being the only person on a bus, and if they're running that bus at 9:17 p.m. just for me, they can get rid of it.

Cancellation of Earliest Northbound 830:
I've never taken it. And I'm the Busninja. So get rid of it.

Cancellation of Evening 820's:
This one I actually don't like so much, if only because it leaves a two-hour in bus service for everyone south of Provo. I feel like the 820 carries more people than the 831 at the same time of day; but maybe they both didn't make the cut.

Ending the 850 in downtown Provo instead of at East Bay:
I can personally attest that nobody rides the 850 south of downtown. And that service is all doubled by the 830, which comes twice as often, anyway. Get rid of it.

Cancellation of 811 Saturday Evening Trips:
I fail to see the purpose (though I recognize that other considerations than ridership alone go into how often a bus runs) of running the 811 every hour all day Saturday, then suddenly sticking in a few trips twenty minutes apart in the evening. I have ridden the second of these buses several times. One time there were seven people between Sandy and downtown Provo. A bus ran for over an hour to carry seven people. Get rid of it.

Cancellation of 850 service to U.S.D.C.
This one has been coming for a while. Now that the F868 services the U.S.D.C. regularly, and sort of all day long, I feel like the 850 service is rather superfluous.

There you have it. I don't have the final say, but that's my bit.

Monday, December 6, 2010



Today when I was waiting for the 831, as I was standing there peacefully studying my differential equations for the test tomorrow, an old lady drove past in a nice car. As she drove past, she pointed at me from inside the car.

I am confused as to why she did this. She didn't seem angry, and I'm pretty sure I'm not on any old ladies' bad lists right now. She didn't know me personally, as far as I know, unless I reminded her of her nephew/grandson/son/son-in-law (I get this more than you might think). I wasn't doing anything to violate the law, or even social norms (unless you count riding the bus as violating the social norm). I wasn't wearing anything weird, and my fly was not undone. I checked.

I still don't know why she pointed at me. Whatever.

Friday, December 3, 2010



Today when I got on the 831 for the third time (there's nothing inherently unusual about this), the bus driver said, "Hello." (There's nothing inherently unusual about this).

I said, "Hello."

Then he said, "We meet again."

I said, "Yes," because I couldn't think of anything better to say.

Thursday, December 2, 2010



Today when I was on the 831, we stopped at the Tanner Building on BYU Campus. I noticed a skateboarder was coming down the sidewalk full speed (it's downhill), but didn't really register anything unusual.

Until the back door of the bus opened and a woman got off. I suddenly realized that she and the skateboarder were within inches of each other, and was validated by the fact that as she was getting off the bus, she said,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010



I was at the UVU bus stop again tonight; once again, there's nothing inherently unusual about this. Whenever I am at UVU I check on the status of the hole in the ground that will someday be a pedestrian tunnel. I am pleased to report that the hole in the ground looks rather large these days.

When I was coming up to the bus stop, I thought, gee, it looks like they've opened up the grass for us to sit on again. Then I realized that all that had happened was the fence had tipped over.

And speaking of bus patrons putting their lives in peril at the UVU bus stop, I saw someone listening to music with his feet in the road today. It's a natural place to put your feet, I suppose, when the only place to sit is on the sidewalk, but I'm still glad he stood up when he saw the bus approaching. Otherwise he might not have feet at all anymore . . .

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I am pleased to note that UTA has fixed the Spanish version of the rules that they post inside the buses. While the new version is still far from perfect, it no longer has such gems as

"Esté estando parado" (Be being standing)

"sea listo subir el autobús" (be smart board the bus; esté listo means be ready, but sea listo means be smart)

The fact that two of the rules were exactly the same on the Spanish sheet

The fact that it said that everything else UTA publishes is available in "Alternate formats."

While I still would love to take a sharpie to the new set of Spanish rules, I don't feel like taking a can of spray paint to it anymore.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Dear stupid Provo driver:

I have never been one to advocate reckless driving. Like when you backed out right in front of a FedEx (R) truck in the parking lot today.

As bad of an idea as that was, however, I must tell you that it was superseded by the fact that you then honked at the truck and asked it to back up, when it was really your own fault for blocking yourself in like that.

The fact that the truck backed up for you means that the truck driver is a nice person, not that you were right. Chew on it.


Sunday, November 28, 2010



I rode bus #10064 for the second time today. The smell is wearing off, but still not gone. It's much more tolerable, though.

Someone else got on the bus just after I did and said "This bus smells funny," as she was walking up the aisle. I considered telling her that it was because it was a brand new bus, but I didn't want to seem too nerdy. So I let her wonder.

Friday, November 26, 2010



When I was telling the story mentioned in the previous post, a friend of mine who was sitting just to my left asked "What's the other bus that doesn't go to the mall?"

I didn't hear him, so I said, "What?"

He said again, "What's the other bus that doesn't go to the mall?"

I said, "The 822."

That ended the conversation, but I was still intrigued to know that it's not common knowledge that any bus doesn't go to the mall . . .

Wednesday, November 24, 2010



So, yesterday, I was on the 831 (wait, what?). I was surprised that there were five people on it on a Saturday, because that's a lot for the 831 on a Saturday.

I soon realized, however, that the unusually high ridership was due to a group of girls, who were apparently coming from Wal-Mart, because all the bags they were carrying said Wal-Mart, and were freshmen, based on the fact that they had apparently started their journey from a well-known area of extremely high freshman concentration.

They were talking about how to get home, since the 831 doesn't go past the aforementioned well-known area of extremely high freshman concentration. One of them said, "Well, we could transfer at the mall."

Another one asked, "Does this bus go to the mall?"

The first one said, "Of course this bus goes to the mall! They all do!"

Honey, I admit that there are only two buses in this entire county that don't stop at University Mall. So statistically, you're right. But practically, you are on one of those two buses right now.

Unfortunately, they all got off at the next stop because they wanted to eat lunch, so I was unable to help them with their bus conundrum.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Pulling the cord can be a surprisingly complicated endeavor, as evidenced by my experience the other day on the 830.

See, I was about to get off the bus, and showed this by pulling the cord. However, just before I pulled it, someone in the front of the bus started pulling it also. This caused us both to be pulling on the cord at the same time, which resulted in neither of us being able to pull it all the way. It's the law of conservation of cord pulling.

However, I needed to get off the bus, and I wasn't counting on the other guy knowing about the law of conservation of cord pulling, so I let go, and let him pull the cord.

Then we both got off.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I give the driver of the 820 most of the credit for the fakeout. The driver of the 833 does get a little bit, too, though, especially since he was driving a ski bus.

See, the 833 Southbound was on time, always a notable occurrence, but the 820 got there even before the 833 did, which is remarkable, because that 820 isn't even supposed to show up until several minutes after the 833 is supposed to have left.

There was a car right behind the 833, the driver of which seemed distressed that the 833 was pulling out in front of him. At BYU, since there is nowhere else for the bus to stop, the buses just hang out in the street for a couple of minutes until they are ready to pull away. The car driver attempted to circumvent the 833's maneuver by passing it on the right, but as he pulled around the 833, he almost ran into the back of the 820 that was stopped in front of where the 833 had been.

Sufficiently humbled, he waited patiently until the 833 had pulled well past the parked 820 before he continued on his merry way.

Saturday, November 20, 2010



This morning, on my way back from the gym, the 831 was stopped at a light. There's nothing inherently unusual about this; we've all had that experience.

This light, however, happens to be at a relatively tight intersection. Today this was exacerbated by the fact that a large dump truck was trying to turn right at the tight intersection, and to do so it had to clear the bus.

The driver of the truck tried making the corner in one shot, but it soon became apparent (by the fact that we were looking at the dump truck head-on from inside the bus) that if he were to continue, his path would be impeded by the bus, or at least become rather messy.

So he backed up and turned it into a three-point right turn. I can't say that I've ever seen one of those before. The three-point right turn worked, but just barely. I heard a couple of people exhaling loudly after the truck was able to pass us and go on its merry way.

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Dear stupid Provo driver:

Since I mentioned you without actually addressing you, I decided I should write you a letter specifically.


There. There's your letter.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Since the 830 was late tonight, the driver was trying to make up time by driving fast. He did well, making up six minutes between UVU and BYU, which is hard to do on the 830 any time of day.

However, he was momentarily thwarted by a Utah driver on University Parkway who, even though it had its right turn signal on, did not turn until absolutely the last possible second, meaning the bus was already beginning the right turn when the car suddenly cut it off in the middle of the intersection.

Someone on the bus shouted "Utah drivers!" Everyone had a good laugh.

Monday, November 15, 2010



Tonight the 830 was late. It's the 830. It happens.

Later at night when the bus frequency is rather low, a late bus can cause large problems, because it might mean that you will miss your connecting bus, which is the last bus of the night, or at least wait for an extremely long time at the bus stop in the cold.

It so happened that there were several people on the 830 who needed to switch to the 850 at the Transit Center. This is also relatively routine. Since the 830 was late, the driver agreed with one of the passengers that he would pull up next to the 850 at the Transit Center and let people off right there so that they would not have to run across the terminal to catch the 850, which might leave at any moment.

It also so happened that the driver of the 850 was Anal-Retentive. He was reading when the 830 pulled up next to him, but he looked out the window and saw people walking in the bus lane right next to him. He raised his eyebrows and watched them with bemusement for a moment (it was a bemusing night) and went back to his reading.

He didn't lecture them when they got on; after all, they were just getting off the bus when it stopped.

Sunday, November 14, 2010



The ground next to the southbound bus stop at UVU is all torn up now. This is for the pedestrian tunnel that is going in under University Parkway. We like this tunnel. It's going to be a good thing. But it does mean that the little patch of grass we all used to sit on while we waited for the 830 is no longer there. All we have is the sidewalk.

This means that when the 830 is impending, there is a long single-file line of people that stretches down the sidewalk; there's nowhere else for us to go. This is actually not too strenuous, but there's not a lot of elbow room.

Which is why I, completely bemused, contemplated the woman who came to the bus stop with a rolling bag, stood next to the single-file line on the sidewalk, bent over to get in her bag with her bottom sticking out into the street, and had no idea the bus was coming up the road and was liable to knock her over if she didn't stand up relatively soon.

Fortunately, she stood up in time. Otherwise, this post might not have just been bemused.

Saturday, November 13, 2010



Speaking of new buses, I rode one of them today.

I was happy to ride it, but I was already feeling a little queasy from earlier today, and I had a headache, and I was sitting on a side-facing seat, and I was concentrating really hard on linear systems of first order differential equations, and the bus SMELLED.

I know, I know, I said the bus wasn't smelly. This was new bus smell. But it was STRONG. I think today may have been the first day bus #10064 was in service.

Oh, my head. I had to switch seats, close my book, and breathe deeply.

Friday, November 12, 2010



. . . and if we had only gotten rid of the '90 buses and never gotten any new ones . . .


. . . and if we had only gotten more '99's when we got rid of the '93's . . .


. . . and if we had gotten '07's, or '05's, or even '01's from Salt Lake County, instead of '99's . . .


. . . and if we had only gotten '09's last year and no new buses this year . . .


. . . and if we had only gotten one or two instead of about eight . . .


. . . and even if they all stayed on the 830 and were never on the 831 . . .

Thursday, November 11, 2010



Also yesterday, I proposed to commutergirl. Those of you who know me on Facebook already knew this.

I must insist, despite what most of you are thinking, that the bus had nothing to do directly with the proposing process. It didn't. Not one little bit.

However, after the proposing was over and we were sitting on the grass, the 831 came by. We had no intention (nor need) of getting on it, but I pointed and said, "Look, the 831!"

She said, "It's a sign."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



So, yesterday was commutergirl's birthday. I decided to get her flowers. The problem is, she catches the 811 bright and early (should I say, dark and early) to get to work on time. So I caught the bus even earlier, up to the Transit Center, with flowers in tow.

In retrospect, it was stupid to catch the bus as early as I did, but I just wanted to make sure that I was early enough, just in case she tried to catch the bus before the one she usually does. The practical result of this line of reasoning was that I spent 45 minutes in the cold, sitting there . . .

I'm afraid I didn't cut a terribly romantic figure by the time she finally showed up, with the shivering and the cold lips and all, but she was still happy about it.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Dear stupid Provo driver:

When you are in a parking lot, may I respectfully suggest that if you are backing out of a parking spot and you see lights in all your mirrors, there may be a car right behind you, blocking where you are trying to back up into. You may want to stop backing up, for the time being.

And if you hear honking coming from directly behind you, it probably means that the car behind you doesn't want to be backed into. And if you hear that honking multiple times, you should probably stop backing up into the other car at some point.

I dunno. Maybe this never occurred to you; that's why I'm telling you now.


Friday, November 5, 2010


Dear stupid Provo driver:

Okay. So.

When you're coming up to a red light, and the car in front of you is stopping, stop.

I really hope you're like sixteen-years-and-three-days old, because otherwise, I would expect you to know that.

Don't honk and then swerve around us on the left. We were in the turning lane! That meant you were swerving into oncoming traffic to get around us. I now hope that you are not sixteen-years-and-three-days old, because the only suitable excuse for such behavior involves your wife being about to give birth. And I really hope you're not sixteen and married and expecting a child. That would also be kind of stupid.

If you want to live to be married and have a child, please don't ever do that again. And if you must continue doing such idiotic things on state highways, don't honk at us like it was our fault. We were just obeying traffic laws like, oh, I don't know, stopping at red lights. You were just being dumb.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


You gotta admit, this video is kinda cool. Coming soon to Downtown Salt Lake City.


A while ago an enterprising person drew graffiti on my bus stop with deodorant. The phenomenon smelled nice but was, alas, short lived.

More recently, someone tagged the shelter with red paint. Much more effective. Unfortunately, they spilled on the bench, so now there is a red spot there, which totally ruins the effect of the graffiti.

Perhaps in search of less messy methods of illegally marking territory, someone else has now tagged the plexiglass with a permanent marker. They got the shelter and the printed schedule. Congratulations, the printed schedule is now your territory.

It's nice to see that the people in charge of decorating my bus stop are getting more creative.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Dear stupid Provo pedestrian:

Crossing the street south of campus it taking your life into your own hands. I know this from personal experience. You, apparently, don't. Did you know that the speed limit on 100 East is 25 M.P.H.? Maybe you don't know that, either.

That means that, while it may seem fun and exciting to walk out from behind a car with a plate of cookies just as my friend and I are driving down the street at 25 M.P.H., it is actually quite hazardous to your health. And your cookies. If my friend, who was driving (I do drive occasionally, but it's pretty occasional), hadn't been vigilantly watching the road ahead, we might have hit you AND taken your cookies. Next time take you and your cookies to the corner, and maybe we'll just ask you nicely if we can have one.


Friday, October 29, 2010


There is a very important meeting going on at BYU next week! Go if you care!

Next Thursday's EcoResponse club meeting is all about transportation. It will include:

- Short presentations on bus riding, route planning, and upcoming improvements to UTA (and there are many . . .)
- Remarks by a BYU Sociology professor
- A representative from the Church, who will talk about the Church's environmentally sustainable efforts
- Mayor Curtis of Provo
- Me . . . in spirit . . . I have to work, but at least half my soul will be there (which means that if I zone out in the middle of Music 111, now you know why)

The meeting is next Thursday, Nov. 4, in room 250 SWKT. Attending it will be many people who care about public transportation just as much as I do. Even though the decision has been made to end the discounted student bus pass, there are those of us who are still fighting for it (there are those of us, who, even if it goes away forever, will still ride the bus . . .). Go and learn something, go and make your voice heard. Tell them I sent you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Dear my friends from warmer climes:

Yes, it snowed here yesterday. And while it will probably be 70 degrees and sunny again next week, the snow will come back. No, it's not going away soon. No, you can't do anything about it.

Also, please be warned that driving on ice or snow is not the same as driving on dry pavement. It is not the same as driving in the rain. It is not the same as driving any other way. It is its own fun, new adventure that you will have to figure out all on your own, because they didn't teach you how to drive in the snow where you are from. So please, be alert, brake early, and don't tailgate.

your car window 90% obscured by frost. If you don't like scraping your car in the morning, take the bus instead. Just sayin'.



Dear stupid Provo driver:

So, there's this whole neighborhood south of campus that doesn't have enough parking (grrr . . .). This means that everyone and their dog parks on the street. This is a figure of speech, but it may as well be taken literally around here.

What this means is that you cannot always see traffic coming on the street as you pull out of a driveway, because there are cars parked all up and down the street blocking your view. Trust me, I don't like it any more than you do.

That does not, however, excuse you from pulling all the way out into the road in one swift motion. It just so happened that there was a car coming. And I was in it. So yes, you had to hit your brakes in order to not hit us. I'm sure this annoyed you, but I'm also sure it was not as annoying as traffic school or court would be.

So, maybe, just maybe, next time, could you pull out a little slower? The children will thank you.



Dear stupid Provo driver:

I hate parking lots. I hate them partly because of people like you.

You cannot go 25 MPH through a parking lot after dark and not expect to almost hit people. Fortunately my friend and I are conscientious pedestrians and you do not now have a prohibitive driving record.

Also, if you are going 25 MPH through a parking lot after dark (even though you shouldn't) and you almost hit people, the least you could do is stop and allow us to cross in front of you. Not keep going right in front of us.

Think of the children. And your driving record.



Last Monday, I was on the last 830 of the night. I freely admit that I was caught up in wondering why there were so few people on it for quite a while, until I noticed some interesting behavior from the man sitting across from me.

See, we weren't quite sure where he was going to get off. He pulled the cord right as the bus was passing a stop, and the bus driver paid him no heed and stopped at the next one. However, he didn't get off. Nobody did. The bus driver was a little annoyed, I think (In her defense, it was 10:40 p.m.), but continued on. Then he pulled the cord again, right as the bus was passing a stop. The bus stopped at the next stop again. He didn't immediately get off, but after a few excruciating seconds, he did. Phew! Peace and order were restored.


Last Saturday, I was waiting for the 831. Psych!

I was actually waiting for the 811. See, I couldn't sleep, and I thought a trip to the gym would be just the thing to wear my rebellious body down to the point where it would somnolesce.

So I was waiting for the 811. While I was waiting, another guy came up and sat down near me on the bench. He offered me coffee. (You must not be from around here, friend . . .) As we made idle conversation, it became clear that he was somewhat intoxicated, so I kept my responses friendly and noncommittal (I had bad luck with drunk people as a missionary . . .) It appeared he was also waiting for the 811, as he got change out of his pocket and meticulously counted it multiple times.

I was surprised, then, that when the 811 came, he did not get on. The bus driver commented that he must be waiting for the 831. I remarked that, if so, he had a while to wait. See, it was 6:06 A.M.

The first 831 of the day on Saturdays hits that stop at 8:49. That's a while.


Last Monday, I was preparing to get on the 850 to visit commutergirl. Yes, I have to transfer to get to her house, but I do it anyway.

When the 832 pulled up to the Transit Center, the 850 bus was sitting there. This is all well and good. If it had not been sitting there, it would have been at least fifteen minutes late. That would have distressed my soul.

However, as the 850 was the only other bus at the Transit Center, and as Anal-Retentive was standing placidly on the sidewalk a ways from said 850, I decided I'd better ask if he were driving it, so that, if so, I could show him my pass and board in peace.

I did ask. But I misphrased my question.

I asked, "Are you on the 850?" He said, "What?"

I asked again, "Are you on the 850?" To which he responded, "No, I'm off the 850. I'm standing here talking to you!"

I showed him my pass, and he said "Just tap your card when you get on." I did so.

But as I walked up to the bus, I couldn't help thinking, "Did Anal-Retentive just make a joke?"



One night, shock of the century, I got on the 831. It was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so there was no school but the bus was running. (Thank you, MLK.)

I got on the bus at 9:13 p.m. and, shock of the century, there was no one else on the bus. So I said my typical cheesy line: "Busy night, huh?"

The bus driver rejoined with: "Everybody's busy but you!"

Ouch. I guess I walked right into that one.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Also in the Daily Universe today, I read a happy story about the upcoming pedestrian tunnel under University Parkway at UVU.

I liked this particular article because it mentioned the pedestrians first! Imagine that: a pedestrian tunnel for pedestrians. Other articles I have read talked only about the fact that putting the pedestrians under the road would make it more convenient for the drivers. I know people in Orem don't think pedestrians exist (I know this because of the stares I get from people as I walk down the side of the road), but that was really kind of a pretty big snub.

Plus, there's going to be a busy bus stop right in front of it. *heart*

It will make my trips to Wal-Mart on the 830 and 811 infinitely more pleasant, that's for sure.


The Provo City Council has once again ignored the fact that making it harder to park south of BYU campus will not make the parking problem go away.


Part of the article I read today said that the change was being made to encourage people to walk and take public transportation.

Have they not talked to BYU and UTA about this? Do they not know UTA is discontinuing the discounted student bus pass? Or do they just hate BYU students?

(Answer: unequivocally, irrationally, yes.)

I sure hope something is being done to actually make public transportation feasible. Otherwise, this is just another event in a long, long string of stupid decisions about parking here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

People Watching

Have you ever seen a foo Fighters video where Dave Grohl is smiling? With his dark beard and large teeth it is a strange and awesome sight. (I found a picture so as to not over tax your imagination.)

I did not, unfortunately, see Dave Grohl on the bus or any where else today. Sad day. I did see a guy get on the 811 however to reminded me of this image. He appeared to be smiling from ear to ear but when he got closer I noticed he just had extra large teeth and gums. It was the kinda thing you see that makes you want to look and not look at the same time. I also caught this guy picking his nose while reading his scriptures.

Seen: Family dressed up in Halloween costumes on a train platform. With the exception of the middle aged, balding father wearing eyeliner, not a super scary sight.

Seen: Tall girl with black hair wearing a black and red bustier, short, black mini skirt, and black leather high heels. She, I'm fairly certain, was not dressed up for Halloween but very scary.

Seen: Guts of a raccoon in American Fork. Not a people but very red and dead.


So, today I ran into one of my friends, who complained that it seems like BUSNINJA is all being written by commutergirl now. That is simply not true. commutergirl, for example, is not writing this post (hence the capital-lettered title). And anyway, since we are, in the words of my roommate, "becoming synonymous," it'll soon be the same thing.

I explained to my friend that since commutergirl's commute is, oh, fifteen times as long as my own, she sees funny things on the bus (and train!) too, and should therefore be allowed to contribute when she feels necessary (or I think what happened to her is worth mentioning). He replied "but you're supposed to be the absolute master of the bus, you yourself!"

Why, thank you.

I replied, "Don't worry, I still am. I have administrative privileges on the blog, and she doesn't." Mollified, and laughing, he went on his way.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Train talk

"You going to Provo?"
"Yah, Orem actually. I went to BYU but I graduated."
"You graduated already!"
"Already? It took me 7 years. I don't really call that already."
"What, no way. I totally thought you were, like 20! Wow, you age really well."
"Um, thanks. (I'm only 26 jerk)."

Where are you going?

Strange anecdote. So one Friday afternoon after work, I was standing at the 39/41 bus stop on 3900 S as I usually do waiting for either bus to take me to the 3900 trax station. After a few minutes I see a bus coming down the road. I get up and stand by the bus sign but as the bus came closer I see the word "GARAGE" in bold green letters. I was disappointed but as I stood there, much to my surprise, the bus slowed down and came to a stop right in front of me. I gave the driver a quizzical look and asked if she was going to the 3900 trax station. She kinda of looked at me strangely and then started to laugh. I guess she didn't mean to stop but did out of habit. She was very nice and told me that she would give me a ride and drop me off across the street from the station. She did and I got to the trax station before my normal bus. How fortuitous!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


The other day when I got off the 830 my eyes were affronted with an unusual sight for Provo in October. There was a guy riding his motorcycle wearing ONLY mid-thigh swim trunks. OK, and shoes. But no helmet. No shirt. No pants! I thought, someday you are going to tip over. And then you will get scratched all over your flesh. No thanks!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I'd like to invite anyone who thinks getting rid of the BYU student bus pass is a good idea to ride the 832 some morning. Scared of screaming freshmen? I'll ride it with you. Then see if you, in good conscience, can recommend that all these screaming freshmen walk from Wyview to BYU proper.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Also this morning on the 831, I witnessed an interesting new technique for pulling the cord. See, on the '99 buses that are so common on the 831, the cord stays the same height throughout the bus, even though the seats are lower in the front and higher in the back (you have to go up two steps to get to the back; it's really fun). This means that people in the front of the bus usually can't reach the cord proper, unless you're really lanky, like me. There are little cords attached to the main one that you can reach, but sometimes they're behind you, which makes turning around and reaching a little awkward for you and the people around you (although, if it's not rush hour on the 831, there might not actually be people around you).

So I was impressed this morning when someone used the clip on his mechanical pencil to reach up and pull the cord. I thought, what a great idea! Then, however, the pencil got stuck on the cord, and had to be vigorously shaken off, which probably more than compensated for the efficiency of the original maneuver. But I was still impressed. Thinking outside the box is good, even if new techniques need polishing.


Speaking of not judging, this morning on my way back from the gym, a certain college-aged young man was found staring at the 831 as it pulled away from the stop. You know the type. Tall, jock, wearing shorts and a hoodie on a cold day (Okay, I was doing that, but I was on my way to the gym for an hour, not school all day.), baseball cap with a flat bill (sorry, I think that looks funny on white people), headphones in ears, jamming to something the rest of the world can't hear. Need I continue?

Anyway, he was contemplating the bus with a rather disparaging look on his face. "What kind of scum ride that thing?" said his face. He didn't realize that we were all looking back at him and thinking, "Tool."


Speaking of Home Evening, last night at Home Evening, we talked about judging others unfairly. Even though I was lying on my back in the corner with my eyes closed, I was listening.

Good thing, too, because this morning the 831 was late. I admit I was grumbly about it. I was even thinking about writing a snarky post to the effect of "What good does it do for the schedule to say six minutes earlier if the bus driver is more than six minutes late? Just sayin'." Nevertheless, I boarded the bus pacifically when it did come.

Good thing, too, because the bus driver actually apologized for being late (how often does THAT happen!!!) and explained why. I could explain the details, but they would just confuse you. Suffice it to say that he had a valid reason for being ten minutes late, and it involved helping out a large group of people. I was immediately reminded of our Home Evening lesson. Honestly, I felt kind of stupid. So don't judge unrighteously, people!


Yesterday I was pretty out of it. A long day of school followed by work had left me mostly dead. So it took all the concentration I had to remember that I was getting off the bus one stop BEFORE my regular stop, so as to go to Home Evening (which generally happens Monday nights). Considering how tired I felt, I probably looked pretty out of it.

So it was no surprise when the bus driver asked me if this was the stop I wanted. I mean, I ride the 831 every day (if you didn't know that by now, read a different blog), and I get off at the same stop every day, and I also probably looked like I could spread out a bamboo mat in the aisle of the bus and sleep contentedly, even with other passengers stepping on my head on their way out.

But I had spent the whole trip concentrating on getting off a stop early. I knew what I wanted! I do appreciate the bus driver looking out for me, though.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I think express checkout lanes are a marvelous invention. They allow stores to optimize their cashiers, and people who are only at the store for 15 minutes until the 831 turns around to get in and out quickly.

Except when people abuse them.

Sometimes, at Wal-Mart, people go to the express checkout lane with 20-squared instead of just 20 items in their shopping cart. Sometimes people go to the express checkout lane who have apparently never used a debit card in their life before, because they need the cashier to explain every step in the whole process to them. Some people are so distracted by cell phone conversations that they keep having to be reminded that they are, in fact, in the middle of a transaction.

When those people are in line in front of me, I burn with a cold rage.

Once, at Macey's, back when I lived on the 830, I was making a few important purchases at approximately 10:10 at night. I, being conscious of the fact that the last 830 of the night went past the stop closest to Macey's at 10:22 pm (the schedule has since changed, for you purists out there), headed for the express checkout lane with what I thought was plenty of time.

I was wrong.

There was a girl in the checkout line who was buying some inane-looking potted plant for purposes I wouldn't dare divine. She was talking to a boy who I hope was related to her, because the topic of conversation was how she was "crushing" so bad on a boy in her Home Evening group (It's a BYU Mormon thing) and how, while she was telling someone else about said "crushing", he looked right at her and omgitwassoawfuli'mgonnadie.

In the first place, for those of us who use Webster's Dictionary instead of Urban Dictionary, "crushing" is a verb meaning "to take an object in one's hands and squeeze tightly, thus causing deformation of the object." It is not "to lose all dignity due to one's excessive preoccupation with another individual, even if that individual is extremely attractive."

In the second place, she was so distracted by her conversation that she wasn't even looking at the cashier. This meant that when she held out a bill that was too small to cover the purchase (sales tax applies, honey), the cashier was unable to communicate this fact to her, even though he tried several times. The young man who was the unfortunate recipient of the "crushing" story was obliged to take the money out of her hand, augment it with another bill from inside her purse, hand the amended total to the cashier, receive change from the cashier, and deposit the change back in her purse. The young lady noticed none of this, and had to be physically directed away from the register after the transaction had been completed.

I really hope nothing came of that crush, because that young lady had better not reproduce.

In brighter news, I did catch the bus. It involved running.


Some of you avid readers of this blog (I know you're out there) may have noticed that someone new is on the "Contributors" list in the top-right-hand corner.

Yes, the rumors are true. I'm dating someone.

Meet commutergirl. I'm dating her. She started taking the bus to work far far away because she was spending too much on gas and putting too many miles on her car. She came up with that idea all by her lonesome. I did nothing to convince her other than be a good example.

But I am proud of her decision.

Anyway, you'll be able to tell who wrote what by the name at the bottom of the post, but just in case you're not in the habit of looking, here are some other differences between us:

- I like using all caps for my post titles. It makes me feel manly.
- I don't ever use the word "nuggets" in a blog post.
- I don't have a car. So I don't ever talk about "my car" in a blog post.
- Middle-aged men don't generally give me compliments on the bus (story coming later . . .)
- I don't ride TRAX on my way to work. She does.
- I'm sarcastic and funny and like to vent online. Wait. So does she. Never mind.


Bus Schedule Change Nuggets

I'm so happy that UTA has finally figured out that their cozy little stop out in the fields near American Fork takes more than 5 seconds. However, if they feel the need to change the time of my rather early bus, they might take the time to post it on the bus that actually goes there!

Two buses, One me

Maybe I'm conceited, but I sometimes I get this feeling like the world works just for me. Like this afternoon when I got to my first bus stop and both the 39 and 41 showed up at exactly the same moment. It was like they were competing for my attention. I had to be fair so I simply got on the first one.

The bus was a '97 with the first few seats facing each other. There was a middle-aged man sitting across from me. He caught my eye and we exchanged the common "hello" and "hi" pleasantries. Then he told me I had very beautiful eyes. Now where, when driving home in my car, do I get such a nice compliment? I think I made a very good choice today!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Don't put your feet on the seat!

There are specific rules posted on the sides of the UTA buses such as, no loud music, no eating or drinking, and no explosives. While riding TRAX I have noticed that there is one particular rule that seems be a pet peeve of the bodiless train lady.

"Please be considerate of others and don't put you feet on the seat" she reminds periodically throughout the journey.

The fact that she feels it necessary to tell us passengers of this is not the strange thing. It is the fact that I've never heard her implore us to follow any of the other rules posted on the wall above the window. What is so important about not putting your feet on the seat? Did UTA find this a particularly gruesome offense, or did they just feel that this was easy enough for most people to follow? Why doesn't she remind us to be considerate of others and not eat our dinner in front of them? Or how about being considerate of others and not carrying explosives or weapons onto the train?

For the love of transportation, bodiless train lady, help us out: let us really know how to be courteous to our fellow commuters.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Skateboarders of the world, take note:

Should you happen to be at BYU, for whatever reason, and should you be in a hurry to catch the 822 home, DON'T USE YOUR SKATEBOARD! Trust me. Just run and carry it. It will be faster in the long run.

See, skateboarding isn't allowed on campus, and you might get stopped by a policeman just as you are approaching the bus stop. I wouldn't expect the policeman to be particularly sympathetic if you try to explain that you're about to miss your bus, even if you're trying to catch the 822, which only comes once every two hours in the middle of the day (grrr . . .).

Trust me, it's just easier to not ride your skateboard. I've seen it.


As I was walking back from the bus stop yesterday, I saw a poster that said "NIPPLES DON'T LIE . . . THE COLD IS COMING." I admit I laughed pretty hard. If I ever leave my apartment with a camera again, I'll take a picture. Just another thing you'll never see if the only walking you do is from your front door to your car.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Two days ago was rather a bad day to be a busser. It was raining all morning, and had I not had rather necessary business at the bank, I would not have voluntarily walked the two blocks from the bus stop to the bank and back. Fortunately, there was a shelter at the bus stop, and I was able to wait in peace for most of the raininess.

But then, once I was back on the bus, I saw a funny sight: three guys running out in the rain without shirts on. Too bad the shirt guy wasn't on the bus, or he could have asked them his question. I must admit I looked a little longer than was usual, but only because I couldn't understand why they were doing what they were doing.

The funny part was that the bus driver saw, and he and the bus driver going the other way had a good laugh about it. Silly boys.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


The other day, in one of the classes I TA for (it's not technically TA-ing, but "one of the classes I accompany" sounds a little weird to me), two students were discussing which freshman housing is better (see my thoughts on freshmen here). One of them said "Wyview is totally better." and the other said "No way, you live so far from campus, and you have to take the smelly bus."

Excuse me?

I said "The bus is NOT smelly!" The other student said "Well, it's only smelly sometimes."


Any questions?

Monday, October 4, 2010


This morning, the 831 was an '09 bus. I must admit, I was very excited about this. The 831 is usually '99 buses with the occasional '95 or '96 thrown in just to remind us that we're not important (though, the argument could be raised that UTA should not be using their most capacious buses on one of their lower-carrying routes), but every once in a while, we do get an '09.

Every time we get an '09, I want to say something to the bus driver when I get on, like, "Wow! An '09 bus! Who'd you have to kill to get that?" But I've never had the guts to.


Does the bus have a dress code? Apparently.

Saturday when I got on the 822, the bus driver said to the passenger in front of me "Sir, before you get on my bus, you're going to have to button up your shirt."

I agree with the bus driver. Nobody needs to see your belly hanging out on the bus!


Saturday I rode the 822 to my parents' house to watch Conference. Yay!

However, when we got to Springville, we had to go all the way out of town because there was road construction on State Street. I assumed we would get back off the freeway in North Springville, and continue to go through Springville as traditionally practiced by the 822. I was surprised, however, to find that we went all the way to the southern end of the city, stopped at ONE stop in the whole city, and went on our way.

I admit I was a bit depressed by the whole skipping Springville thing. Those poor people in Springville!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Dear stupid Provo driver:

Believe me, no one is more sorry than I that you had to wait for fifteen seconds at the crosswalk on Campus Drive. I'm sure you had somewhere really important to be, and that the red light with the pedestrian walking in front of it was just one in a long string of gross inconveniences that happened to you yesterday.

Nevertheless, revving your car's engine while stopped at said red light is in poor taste. And while doing it right as I walk past might make me jump a little bit and give you a laugh, guess what? You're still stupid.


(Image by Allie Brosh)


UTA announced today that TWO light rail lines will be opening the same day. The Mid-Jordan Line and the West Valley Line will both open August 7, 2011!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Yesterday on the 850 I was privy to an interesting conversation, such as doesn't often fall on the ears of BYU students. Two men and a woman were conversing, and it became apparent from the pronouns used that the woman was lesbian. Mild eyebrow raise. Nothing inherently unusual there.

Then she said that a friend had called her up and said "Hey! Next weekend is General Conference!"

Large eyebrow raise. I admit my interest was piqued as to why she would be excited about LDS General Conference.

Then she said "We could totally go picket!"

Oh, okay. That makes more sense. I was able to resume my journey in peace.

PS Whether you're going to General Conference to actually attend conference or to picket it, take the train. Or sit in traffic for over an hour after each session is over. Your choice.


Apparently, I've judged Anal-Retentive too harshly.

I don't run into him too often these days, which is only partially on purpose. I ran into him yesterday, and his life seems to be getting better. He didn't lecture a single passenger on their incorrect bus riding. He's gotten thinner. He didn't stare me down when I got on the bus. He even said "thank you" when I tapped my pass on the reader when I got on. He's never said anything nice to me before.


Maybe he switched meds. Maybe he just REALLY didn't like the route he used to be on. Maybe he got divorced. Or remarried. Or something. Whatever changed, he wasn't emitting waves of horribleness anymore. I'm okay with that.

Friday, September 24, 2010


It all started when the buses came in the wrong order.

It's supposed to go 817, then 832, then 831, then 830, then 833.

Today as I was going home from BYU, the 817 came first. Nothing irregular. As often happens, large numbers of people piled on. Irregularity began when the next bus up the hill was the 830. I was mildly surprised, seeing as how that meant that the 830 was early and the 831 and 832 were both late. Such an eventuality was not behind my previously established paradigm, however, so I dismissed it. As I expected, large numbers of people boarded the 830.

So, while the 817 and 830 are both sitting at the bus stop, receiving passengers, the 832 finally decided to show up. Large numbers of people then made as if they were going to board the 832.

Here's the problem. There's only room for two buses at the Law Building bus stop.

So the 832 pulls in behind the other two buses already there, and people walk down to board it even though it's a ways down the hill, and straddling a crosswalk. Except some people don't, because they're purists (and they've probably been yelled at by the likes of Anal-Retentive).

Then things started getting weirder. The next bus up the hill was the 833. It pulled in behind the other three buses that were already there. A few people walked WAY down the hill, but most of the 833 people stayed there.

At long last, the 817 and 830 pulled away, and the 832 and 833 were able to pull up and actually pick up people in front of the bus stop. The 832 driver was even further delayed, however, by a potential passenger who was haggling with him over directions. By the time the 832 finally pulled out, the 833 was also pulling out, which I think annoyed the 832 driver a little, since he was supposed to be gone 5 minutes before the 833 was. He made sure to pull out in front.

After all this, the 833 Southbound, which was supposed to have come before ANY of what I have just described happened, passed by. Hmm.

Finally, after everyone else had cleared out, the 831 came up the hill. Finally.


So, there's an announcement on about adding Santaquin (scroll down a little bit on the map) to the Timpanogos Transit District (a.k.a. UTA in Utah County). I'm interested to see what this entails.

I mean, every plan for buses I've ever drawn up on my own involves SOMETHING going to Santaquin, and they eventually want to have a FrontRunner station there, but what exactly is going to go to Santaquin right now? At this moment, Payson is as far south as UTA goes, and I haven't heard stirrings of UTA wanting to add anything else to the southern part of the county. Now I'm curious.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Yesterday I was supposed to get up at 6:55. Oops.

I was trying to get up early so that I could go to the gym in the morning before I started what I was afraid would be extensive studies. However, my body decided it needed sleep more than to be in shape, and I was hesitant to overrule it.

So I went to school at 10:00 instead. My homework turned out to be much shorter than I had planned, and I realized that I actually still had time to go to the gym before work. This is why it's helpful to have UTA memorized:

"Well, if I take the 831 Southbound at 12:56 from the Wilkinson Center, I can spend 45 minutes at the gym and catch it back at 1:43, which means I'll still get to work on time. What if the 831 is late? Well, I'll just catch the 822 at 1:00. What if I miss the bus coming back? Hmmm. There's not another one before 2:00. I guess I had better not miss the bus back."

I know most people are not in the habit of making spur-of-the-moment bus trips around here, but I am. Pleased with myself, I boarded the bus to go to the gym.

Then I got to the gym and realized I was wearing flip-flops. Oops.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I was at a barbecue last night, talking to other graduate students about school of graduateness and how awesome we are because we're at BYU for a few extra years, etc. and the subject of the infamous "Transportation Class" came up. See, there's this class Civil Engineering majors have to take where they have to ride the bus ten times during the semester and do a write-up about it. My interlocutor said something like "get ready for the transportation class!"

I said, "Oh, I could do that in a day."

She said, "Nuh-uh, you have to ride the bus ten times!"

I said, "My record is 11 times in one day."

I think I may have weirded her out.

P.S. Since grad students at BYU are blessed with much more abundant children than those of other universities, they had crayons for the little kids to draw on the tablecloths. I drew the 832. And signed it. Ha ha ha.


Someone once asked me if I had ever gotten on a bus and then gotten off at the next stop. I told them, "I would never do that." I have, in fact, walked the wrong way down the bus route a couple of times so that I could uphold that vow. But then, one day I did. I got on a bus and got back off at the very next stop.

I don't feel too bad about it, actually. I got on at UVU and the next stop was in American Fork.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Dear stupid Provo driver:

It's a bus. It stops. Get over it.

Don't honk at it when it stops with you behind it. It won't help. Also, you should probably not risk your life trying to merge around it while it's stopped.

If it bothers you that bad that the bus stops in front of you, be advised that six buses per hour run down Bulldog between University and Freedom. You may want to consider not driving in the rightmost lane for two blocks. No annoyed you, no annoyed bus driver, no annoyed me.


Monday, September 13, 2010


So, one day my gf and I were driving in downtown SLC, and I happened to see the 209 go past.

I said, "Hey, look, it's the 209!"

She said, "Oh, good," in a very supportive way.

Everything was fine, until we were driving back, and we hit 100 South. Then I said something like the following:

"Hey, look, it's 100 South!
The 228 goes down 100 South!

Hey, look, that's the 228!
But wait! That's bus number 09010!

That's the bus number we just saw on the 209!
Does that mean that the 209 and the 228 interline?
How does that work?
The 209 comes four, five times as often as the 228 during the middle of the day!
So do they just do it during rush hour, or . . ."

She just sighed. She's very patient.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Dear stupid Provo pedestrian:

I know it's nice when cars stop to let you across the street. However, considering that where you were standing on the curb hopefully gazing at the passing cars was not a crosswalk, and that the car you ran in front of was actually turning left, not stopping for you, you might want to be less ready to ascribe noble motives to the drivers around here, and more ready to protect your life when you cross the street.

Seriously, man, don't end your college career two weeks after you started it.


Thursday, September 9, 2010


Those of you who were actually counting during the last post will by now have realized that I only rode the bus six times this morning . . .



So, now that I'm BUSNINJA the master's student, I obviously won't be able to post as often. However, today's diff eq's was less panic-inducing than usual, so I'm giving it a shot.

This morning I had big plans of (1) going to the temple, (2) depositing my money in the bank, (3) getting my materials homework AND my diff eq's homework done before work, and (4) blogging.

(1) FAIL. My alarm went off this morning and my body said "If you make me get up now, I'll kill you." I'm not sure how that would work, but I decided not to argue.

(2) WIN. I did go to the bank, and now my bank account contains more than a single digit number.

(3) FAIL. I went to campus first this morning (via the 831), with the intent of finishing my materials homework and then going to the bank. I walked into the Civil Engineering Mechanics TA Lab, sat down right across from the TA, opened my backpack, and realized my engineering paper was still at home. I managed a sheepish grin before getting back up and deciding to go to the bank first (via the 830).

After the bank, I went home (via the 832 and the 831--SECRET TRANSFER!!!), picked up my engineering paper, and chatted with my roommates while I waited for the bus to come back. I then went back to campus (via the 831), only to realize that I had set my paper down again, and was for the second time empty-handed on campus.

So I went back home (via the 830), grabbed my paper and ran out the door in time to go back up to campus (via the 831, for the third time). Once I got that done, my materials homework wasn't so bad. But I had lost a precious half-hour on my diff eq's, which will probably haunt me for the rest of the semester, if not my life.

For those of you who were counting, that's seven times I rode the bus this morning. Seven.

(4) Win. Always win.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo . . .

Yesterday I went all day without riding the bus. Shocking, I know.

It makes me question my commitment to my lifestyle choice . . .

Friday, September 3, 2010


So, picture this.  It's early in the morning.  I approach the bus stop, where there is a small crowd of people forlornly waiting for the 811.  As they gaze longingly down University Ave., I calmly wait for the 831 to pop around the corner.  The 831 comes.  I get on.  Everyone else is still forlornly standing there.  Now imagine it's raining.

Sometimes it gives me the almost uncontrollable urge to say "Haha, suckaz!" as I get on the bus.

Monday, August 30, 2010


So cleaning checks always ruin about a week of my life.

This past week was no different; I was busy right up until the moment I caught the bus to go out of town. Minutes before the bus came, I finally passed, and made my way hurriedly to the bus stop nearest my abode.

When I got there, I looked at the shelter and thought, this little ridge here has a lot of dust on it! I should clean it right away. Then I realized that cleaning checks were already over and that I had no obligation to clean the bus stop whatsoever. Sheesh.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


This is the time of year when the Provo-Orem area is flooded (literally up to my neck, as I'm 6'3") with new students. It is also flooded with returning students, but the new students are the ones who stick out, because they

1) Stand in the middle of a busy walkway on campus looking lost
2) Start crossing where there is no crosswalk, realize their error, and run back to where they started from instead of just continuing to the other side
3) Ask you where the building right in front of them is
4) Mispronounce "Widtsoe" even after you pronounce it correctly very clearly for them
5) Wear their high school senior shirt without also wearing gym shorts, making it clear that they made a conscious decision to wear their senior shirt in public
6) Say the grid system is hard to understand, even though for them it involves at most counting to 20
7) Ask the bus drivers if the 831 goes to the Mall (it's the ONLY northbound bus that doesn't)
8) Awkwardly hit on each other in public places like food lines and bus stops
9) Have unintentionally funny conversations, like this one:

I was on the 831 (!) yesterday, and two girls were having a chat about where things were at UVU, which is like holding a neon sign that says "I'm eighteen and I don't know where I'm going!" They also said several times that they had no idea where they were at the moment, which is like holding a sign that says "I've never ridden the 831 before and I was expecting it to go in a straight line for more than four blocks!" Then they took to talking about what they were seeing on University Parkway, and the subject of Golden Corral came up.

One of the girls asked the other "What's Golden Corral?" and the other said "It's a restaurant, like one of those where you can just eat as much as you want, what are those called . . ."


Then both of them blurt out "Buffet!" at the very same time and burst into giggles.

Now, I'm 6'3", 210 lbs., and I'm sure I'm more into buffets than the average person, but seriously, party people.


Dear stupid Provo driver:

You are driving a motorhome up a hill. I feel the need to tell you that these circumstances are not conducive to gratuitous amounts of mobility.

It is therefore unwise to suddenly change two lanes of traffic right behind a big truck with the 833 coming in right behind you. If you had thought to do it a little earlier, you wouldn't have had to go so slowly to barely clear the truck in front of you, and the 833 would have more than just barely cleared you.

As unpleasant as having to turn around and backtrack sounds, let me assure you that getting hit by a bus with the gas pedal all the way down is infinitely the worse choice here. Consider that as you drive slowly up more hills today.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It couldn't have been more than ten minutes after the events described in the last post; I was sitting at the Wilkinson Center bus stop, putting my bus schedule collection in numerical order. This is an important activity from time to time, as my bus schedule collection is extensive, and finding the right schedule on the fly can be a surprisingly involved activity for someone with an attention span as short as mine.

Anyway, so I'm putting my bus schedules in order, and the man next to me says "I've heard of people collecting comic books, but I've never seen anyone who collects bus schedules."

I was already mildly annoyed, and this didn't help. "Well, when you ride the bus as much as I do, you need the schedules."

He said: "Well, why don't you just memorize the schedules for the routes you use most?" and then I wanted to say:

What makes you think I don't?

Seriously, I gotta look more like a memorizer. Nobody believes me.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Last Friday I was waiting for the 831. There was a woman there who, when I approached, asked me friendly enough: "Are you waiting for the 831?" Ma'am, we must not have met before. "Yep." Then she said amiably: "It should be coming in a few minutes." "Mm."

For some reason, this annoyed me. I suppose it was because I just naturally assumed people could tell by looking that I have the bus schedule memorized. For example, had she asked me, "What time does the 831 come by this stop?" I would have said:

8:50, and

Doesn't that show?

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Earlier this week I was on the 218 (don't worry, I rode the 831 later that day), when a scene of tripartite confusion ensued such as can only be represented in dialogue form.

Bus is stopped at the SLCC Redwood Campus. MAN IN THE BACK OF THE BUS and WOMAN IN THE FRONT OF THE BUS get on.

Where you headed?

Taylorsville High School.


Eight minutes later, assuming the bus is on time

WOMAN IN FRONT OF THE BUS has no idea where she is and does not pull the cord when she should. BUS DRIVER realizes she has not pulled the cord when she should have, and starts pulling off the road to let her off in between stops

pulling off the road
Ma'am, this is Taylorsville High School.



somewhat more insistently, opening the door
This is Taylorsville High School . . .

Okay. Starts getting up

thinking that BUS DRIVER is opening the door to let him off instead of WOMAN IN THE FRONT OF THE BUS
Next one!

thinking that MAN IN THE BACK OF THE BUS is BUS DRIVER telling her not to get off
Okay. Sits back down

obviously confused by WOMAN IN THE FRONT OF THE BUS's behavior
Ma'am, this is where you need to get off.

obviously confused by the fact that the bus driver is still sitting in between stops with the door open
I said, the next one!

obviously confused by what she perceives as BUS DRIVER's split personality
Okay. At last, gets off

BUS DRIVER closes the door and pulls back onto the road

MAN IN THE BACK OF THE BUS walks to the front of the bus

That's not a bus stop is it? I don't remember that being a bus stop.

Oh, I was just letting that woman off at Taylorsville High School.

Oh, I see. I was wonderin' about that . . .

General cordiality achieved

I'm sooooo blogging about this.

The End


Dear stupid Provo driver:

I am at a loss as to why you honked your horn for such an extended period of time this morning on Sandhill Road. You were the only car on the road. I can only think of a few reasons for this:

1) Your hand-eye coordination isn't what it used to be, and you missed.

2) You just bought a new car, and your old car didn't have a horn that worked, and you are so happy about having a car with a horn that you sound it randomly for extended periods of time for no other reason than the sheer joy of tooting your horn.

3) You think Wal-Mart is the arch-symbol of all that is wrong with our capitalist, materialistic society, and you sound your horn in protest as you drive past it.

4) Considering I was the other person on the road, you either thought I was cute or somehow objected to the fact that I was wearing red gym shorts in public and were honking at me. In which case you should have honked before you were half a block past me.

I'm sure you know the answer to that question, but for the record, I'm still confused.



Dear stupid Provo Driver:

You remember me? Of course you do! You're probably still seething about your encounter with me. Okay, with my girlfriend's car. But there you go.

I hesitate to inform you, because I'm sure you already know this, that if you're going down the freeway with your left blinker on, people are going to think that you are changing lanes. Especially if you are already halfway across the dotted line.

I'm willing to let all that slide; although I don't think it's too much to ask for you to keep track of your blinkers, or where you are on the freeway, but I'll let it go. What I don't understand is why, even if you thought you were completely in the right, which you obviously did, you didn't just go around the car in front of you if the fact that they were trying to merge from a stopped position bothered you. It happens. I hate to tell you this, but the freeway isn't perfect, and it unfortunately isn't designed solely around you.

Oh, and by the way, the World Cup ended. Your horn really needs to not sound like a vuvuzuela anymore. Just sayin'.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Yesterday I was waiting for the 830. There's nothing inherently unusual about this. It was a very hot day. By the time I had walked to the bus stop I was feeling rather hot and lethargic. I went to sit down on the bench, but as I looked at it I saw the sun's rays reflecting off the plastic surface and a searing memory came into my head of how my bottom felt the last time I sat on a bench that had been exposed to direct sunlight all the day long. Needless to say, I waited standing until the air-conditioned bus arrived.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Last week I was dutifully waiting for the bus. In the course of my vigilance for the sight of the 831 coming 'round the corner, I noticed a very gangster-looking symbol that someone had written very faintly on the side of the bus shelter. Curious, I peered closer and saw interesting signs of residue around the edges of the design. Curiouser, I peered even closer and sniffed. Yep. Someone tagged my bus shelter with deodorant. Whatever floats your boat, man.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Yes, the time has come for BUSNINJA's 100th post. I muddled over what to do for quite a while. I wanted to do a list of a hundred somethings about the bus, but I couldn't decide what. Now that the 100th post is upon me, however, I have decided to share a list of 100 changes UTA has made since I started riding in 2003.

This list is more intended for you to gawk at than to actually read and comprehend. It's in no particular order, because it's all off the top of my head. Here goes.

1. In 2003, the "long" 820's were renumbered to be 822's. This was good because those of us who lived on the "long" part of the 820 were no longer confused about whether the bus would take us to our destination or leave us high and dry in Spanish Fork.

2. While I was in Peru, the 840 and 850 were combined into one long 850. However, the old 840 portion of the route continued to only run until 7 pm.

3. Also, the 830 was rerouted to approach BYU campus from 7th East rather than 9th East. It saves time, and nobody got on the 830 on 9th East anyway.

4. Also, the 811 was shortened to start in downtown Provo instead of at East Bay. The 830 and 850 still go all the way.

5. In 2006 when I got back, three 820's were turned into 822's, and an extra 822 trip was added onto the end of an 802 run, which increased the number of 822's each way per day from 11 to 13. Yay!

6. Also in 2006, the 832 was rerouted from the Provo Temple to Freedom Blvd. It became the fastest way to get from BYU to University Mall.

7. Also in 2006 and in conjunction with the 832 change described above, the 833 was rerouted from Freedom Blvd. to go past the temple on its way to the Mall. Service to the temple was thus seriously reduced.

8. Also in 2006, the 816 stopped running on weeknights and started running only really late on Saturdays. It seems to me, though I don't know for sure, that this was replaced by 811 and 850 night service.

9. Speaking of which, in 2006 UTA added the 9:36 pm northbound trip to the 850.

10. And took away the 10-o'clock hour northbound trip on the 832. Coincidence?

11. Sometime around then, the 831 was shortened to end at UVU, making it about 3/4 as long.

12. Also, the portion of the 862 on 800 South in Orem was removed, making it also 3/4 as long and end at UVU.

13. At this point in time, the 831 and 862 began to interline on Saturdays.

14. In conjunction with this, the 862 was reduced from every 45 minutes on Saturdays to every 60 minutes.

15. I should also mention that in 2006 the 833 dropped from every 45 minutes to every 60 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays.

16. The last thing I remember from 2006 was that the 830 was rerouted through what was then known as Parkway Crossing, ostensibly to make it less confusing for befuddled college students.

17. Then the Great Salt Lake Bus Route Redesign Happened!!! (All of those should be capital, except Happened). Too many changes to enumerate here -- let's just say that only two routes in the whole county KEPT the same numbers, 3 and 90, and they didn't even stay the same.

18. But lots happened AFTER the redesign too. Like adding Saturday service on the 218. Woot.

19. And the 201. WoOt.

20. But taking it away on the 9.

21. And the 11.

22. And the 17.

23. And the 223. Actually, that's a good thing -- I once took the 223 on a Saturday, and as far as I was able to determine, I was the only person on the 223 that entire morning. Depressing.

24. And the 228.

25. And the 232.

26. And the 236.

27. And the 248.

28. Speaking of Saturdays, there was that time that they wanted to cancel the 831 on Saturdays. But then they reduced it to every 90 minutes, which is almost the same thing.

29. They did the same thing to the 862.

30. Also, the 833 was reduced to once every 2 hours on Saturdays.

31. Also, the 822. *bitterness*

32. Part of the bitterness is that the 822 originally ran every 2 hours on Saturdays. Then they made it run every hour. Then they put it back to two hours.

33. The 54 and the 62 used to interline. Now they don't.

34. The 62 also serves a new neighborhood that it didn't use to.

35. The 62 now runs every hour during the middle of the day on weekdays instead of every half hour.

36. The 62 also runs every 90 minutes on Saturdays instead of every hour, and incongruously runs until like 10:00 p.m. when on weekdays it only runs until like 7:00.

37. A while back Sunday service was added on the 72.

38. It was recently un-added.

39. Sunday service was recently taken off the 39 also.

40. And the 45.

41. Now for some good news: The 35M came into existence. UTA's first, and still only, bus rapid transit route. I rode it once for fun. Lovely.

42. In conjunction with the 35M's existence, the 35 stopped running every 15 minutes and started running every 30 to 60 minutes on weekdays.

43. Then UTA caved and let it run every 30 minutes all day on weekdays.

44. The 72 was extended over to the Wasatch Blvd. Park 'n' Ride in order to provide connection to Ski service during the winter.

45. The 220 was also extended to the 9400 South Park 'n' Ride for the same reason. This change coincidentally allows me to go to wedding receptions in Sandy that I couldn't attend before.

46. The 304 was brought into existence.

47. Then it was un-existed.

48. The 475 was also removed from existence.

49. Trips were taken from the 453, one by one, until it's now mostly peak hour.

5o. Trips were added at the same time (coincidence?) to the 454.

51. The 556 was also brought into existence, and happily remains so.

52. In fact, the routing was extended.

53. And another bus was added to the route, allowing it to run every thirty minutes during peak times instead of every forty.

54. Speaking of peak times, the 500 now only runs every fifteen minutes during peak times, instead of all day.

55. And three hours worth of service were removed from the 223 on weekdays, between 9 am and 12 pm, which doesn't make it peak hour, just weird. Did NOBODY ride the bus ever during those three hours?

56. Another success story, the 2 was brought into existence, lowering the lowest route number in the system by one.

57. Then more trips were added to the 2 on weekdays.

58. And service was added all day on Saturdays!

59. Speaking of improvements, did I mention FRONTRUNNER!!!!! We need commuter trains around here. We like FrontRunner.

60. In conjunction with the advent of FrontRunner, UTA changed the routing on the 604.

61. And the 640.

62. And got rid of the 610.

63. And took away some 472 trips on weekdays.

64. And all the Saturday service on the 472. Why ride the bus when you can ride a train?

65. Which is why, strangely, the 474 was added, to provide "extra" commuter service in addition to FrontRunner.

66. And the 476.

67. Not surprisingly, the 474 didn't last long.

68. Neither did the 476.

69. Also the 472 was rerouted and reduced to a mere shadow of its former glory.

70. In Davis county, the 460 was rerouted for better FrontRunner connections (and to provide more coverage).

71. Also the 461.

72. Also the 463. Not the 462, interestingly.

73. When the Legacy Parkway happened, no thanks to Rocky Anderson and his ilk, the 473 schedule was adjusted because it didn't take so long to get to Ogden anymore.

74. Speaking of Ogden, shortly after the whole tap-on-tap-off thing happened, Sunday service on 604 was precipitously canceled.

75. I forgot to mention that the 604 used to run every 60 minutes on weekdays. Now it runs every 30.

76. However, all service after 8 pm on weekdays was canceled.

77. And all service after 7 pm on Saturdays.

78. Also the 625.

79. Also the 645.

80. The 613 was also slashed from every 30 to every 60 minutes on weekdays.

81. But an extra evening trip was added to the 640.

82. And 15-minute service was added to the 612 between 10 am and 6 pm.

83. Two trips on the 630 each way were turned into reduced-stop trips and renumbered the 632.

84. Flexness happened to UTA last year with the advent of the F518.

85. And the F546.

86. And the F400 - the first all-day bus in Tooele!

87. And the F401, which was originally on-demand only.

88. Then the F401 became regular service.

89. The next year the F547 happened.

90. And the F628, which took over some old 610 territory.

91. And the F868, which is of all the Flex routes dearest to me.

92. The 626 was changed from every 60 to every 75 minutes weekday afternoons.

93. Also the 627. Pattern?

94. The 227 was changed to run every 75 minutes on Saturdays instead of every 60. All these changes to 75 minutes do mean the bus comes more on time, if not as often.

95.Oh! I almost forgot. In 2007 the 831 was switched to 9th East instead of 7th East, which meant that it was remotely useful to me.

96. At first it only ran on 9th East north of Center street. But then they just switched the whole thing to 9th East.

97. The 833 was therefore switched from 9th East to 7th East, which made it not remotely useful to me.

98. The 832 end of the line is now at University Mall instead of Riverwoods. Instead of ending there, it makes a loop through Riverwoods and ends at the Mall. This allows it to run through Riverwoods an hour later on the same budget. Suite.

99. The 830 schedule was adjusted so that it could run more on time . . . it now takes twenty-one minutes just to go down University Parkway in Orem. It needs it, I promise.

100. Starting TODAY, the 802, 803, 804, 807, 810, 811, 817 (well, okay, mostly starting on Monday) will not go to the American Fork nor the Lehi Park 'n' Rides anymore. They will now stop at the FrontRunner stations in Am. Fork and Lehi, because the stations are done, because, we promise, FrontRunner IS under construction in Utah County.

There. Now I'm hungry. See ya later.