Monday, May 31, 2010

MEMORIAL DAY

It's Memorial Day! Who are you remembering?

The bus isn't running today. Anywhere. In the past UTA has run a Sunday schedule on Memorial Day, but this year they aren't running anything. I'm not against this. Bus drivers need the day off too.

And anyway, it's not like Sunday service in Utah County is much different than no service. I'll miss the 811 heading up University Avenue 5 times all day, but oh well.

Friday, May 28, 2010

SPIDER!!!

So, today on the 830, as I was contemplating the mysteries of life, I noticed there was a little spider lowering itself down from the roof over the girl sitting in front of me. I said to myself, "Self, this will not do!" So, being the gallant ninja that I am, I pulled out my orange mechanical pencil, which I always carry with me, and intercepted the spider's web so that it now hung from my pencil instead of the roof. I then transferred the spider to the floor of the aisle in front of the back door. The girl in front of me sat blissfully unaware that anything had happened.

All was well, until I went back to my crossword puzzle and realized that the spider was still attached to my pencil, as evidenced by the fact that every time I raised it, the spider flew into the air. This wouldn't do either, so I vigorously rubbed the pencil against the seat next to mine in order to remove the offending spiderweb. After three tries, I finally succeeded and the spider and I parted in peace.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

DON'T LOOK NOW

The other day, as I was crossing the street on University Avenue, a cyclist and a motorist approached the intersection at the same time from perpendicular directions. There was nothing unusual about this; however, I was interested to see that neither one of them was remotely looking in the direction of the other. They ended up squeaking past each other at a distance of inches. I'm pretty sure that neither of them even saw the other, nor did they see me wincing as they nearly made contact. Yikes!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SNOW DAY

I never thought the shelter at the bus stop in front of the Provo Library was very big. But I have found that, on a snowy day in late May, it can quite comfortably accommodate eight full-grown men under its modest eaves.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BUSDATE!

So, yes, it finally happened. We went on a busdate.

We caught the 811 up to the American Fork Park-'n'-Ride for the purpose of catching the F868 (yes, we actually had somewhere to go on the F868 route, but I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to do primary research)

While we were waiting for the bus, we took pictures with the schedule in anticipation.




































At last, the bus came!
Here is sort of a picture of the inside of the bus:
There are actually seats all down the right side of the bus, but I was sitting there, so I didn't take a picture of those. On the left side, as you can see, are seats that fold in to provide room for wheelchairs. The bus is not actually very big; you're looking at about a quarter of it.

The F868, and all routes that begin with "F", are "flex" routes, meaning that they can deviate from their regular route if you schedule it in advance. This allows them to provide service for the mobility impaired, as well as provide a regular route in an area where not many people ride the bus.

We eventually made it to Alpine, where we got off at the Blue Lemon Café. I am always skeptical of pretentious restaurants, but this one is a winner. The food was good, not super expensive ($8-13 a plate), and more filling than it appears. The service was marvelous. I highly recommend it.

Alas, the meal did not take 70 minutes, so we were forced to amuse ourselves window shopping until the bus came around again. Once we were back on the bus, it was all pretty straightforward, except we did have to wait a long time for the 811 back from the Park-'n'-ride :(

Other than that, it was a marvelous date. Y'all should go on a busdate sometime.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SHOULD HAVE KNOWN

I was waiting at the bus stop today when a woman came out of the (pretty ritzy) apartment complex across the street. She appeared headed straight for me, or at least the bus stop, and I thought "Wow, somebody rich using public transportation." Then she got in her car, which was parked a few yards west of the bus stop. I should have known better . . .

Friday, May 14, 2010

TOP TEN REASONS WHY THE 831 IS BETTER

1. Your. Own. Seat. Every. Day.
2. Exactly. On. Time. Almost. Every. Day.
3. The 831 is the only bus that stops right in front of Wal-Mart. And it comes the closest to IHOP.
4. The 831 takes you to interesting parts of Provo you've never seen before.
5. The 831 keeps running every half-hour later than the 832, 850, or 862.
6. Even though it takes a more roundabout way, the 831 gets from UVU/Wal-Mart to my house just as fast as the 811.
7. No one problematic has driven the 831 for a while now.
8. The 831 goes from Wal-Mart to my house BEFORE going to BYU. The 830 goes from Wal-Mart to my house AFTER going to BYU. 831: 20 minutes. 830: 35 minutes. The end.
9. During the Christmas season, on 1500 West (where?) everyone decorates their houses with enormous quantities of Christmas lights. Guess which bus is the only one that goes down 1500 West?
10. Your favorite busninja (who?) rides the 831. Every. Single. Day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DEAR STUPID PROVO PEDESTRIAN (8)

Dear stupid Provo pedestrian:

Jogging is fun. I know, I do it too. Jogging with headphones is also fun. Sometimes it's a bad idea, because it distracts you or makes you unable to hear what's going on around you, just behind you, etc.

But you weren't even wearing headphones.

Did you not hear the bus engine whining right next to you? I can hear it from a block away, though I admit I am a special case. Maybe you didn't realize that traffic doesn't have to stop going from University Ave. to Canyon Rd. northbound. Maybe you think buses can stop on a dime. I don't know what, if any, your mental process was, but all I saw was the bus screeching to a halt inches away from your body as you entered the intersection, completely unperturbed and oblivious to what might come your way. Good luck reaching 30.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (9)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

I can't help but think you are in league with stupid Provo driver (8), because I've never had this happen to me twice in three days before. Whether you are or not, it bears repeating, this time in all caps, that

WHEN I AM CROSSING THE STREET, AND AM MORE THAN HALFWAY ACROSS THE STREET, THE CORRECT ANSWER IS NOT TO SPEED UP TO TRY TO SQUEEZE THROUGH THE EVER-NARROWING GAP BETWEEN ME AND THE CURB.
And please don't play chicken with me in the intersection. Just stop.

You and other people like you with California plates are the reason I can't take Californians seriously when they complain about Utah drivers.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Sunday, May 9, 2010

DEAR STUPID PROVO DRIVER (8)

Dear stupid Provo driver:

When my friend and I are walking across the street, and have already entered the street, and are halfway across the street when you approach the intersection, the correct answer is not to try to squeeze through the ever-narrowing gap between us and the curb. If you try this, one of three things will happen: (1) you will kill a pedestrian (messy legal ramifications), (2) you will run over the curb (expensive car repairs), or (3) you will end up slamming on the brakes at the last second (elapsed time: exactly the same as if you had just stopped in the first place). While I am thankful that in this instance you chose (3), it would still be better for you to just stop.

And while I know you're already not paying attention anymore, it bears mentioning that if you had been going the speed limit in the first place, you would have had ample time to stop.

Regards,
BUSNINJA

Saturday, May 8, 2010

DO I RIDE THE 831 TOO MUCH? (PART 2)

The other day I was walking down University Avenue, and I happened to be walking right past an 831 bus stop just as the 831 was pulling up to it. There were two people standing next to the stop, so I knew it wasn't stopping for me. After they got on, however, the bus driver kept the door open for a few more seconds until I had walked well past the stop and it was plain I was going to keep walking. I wondered if it had weirded him out to see me walking down University Avenue instead of waiting for a bus. Do I ride the 831 too much?

DO I RIDE THE 831 TOO MUCH? (PART 1)

On any given weekday, there are three buses going back and forth along the 831's long, twisted route through places in Provo few BYU students have heard of. This generally means that, each time I get on the 831 on a given weekday, a different person is driving. However, there was one day when I rode with the same driver three times. The first time, he said, "Good morning." The second time, he said, "Mmh," and nodded. The third time, he didn't say anything; he just kind of looked at me like, "You again?" Do you think I wore out my welcome?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

CHAIR!

Last week I rode the bus with a folding chair. This was not the first time I have ridden the bus with a folding chair. It was, however, the first time I dinged someone's knee with my folding chair on my way off the bus.

Monday, May 3, 2010

DON'T ASSUME

Sometimes when you get on the bus, you see a guy and a girl sitting in the same seat together. You generally assume they are a couple (especially on the 831, where there are empty seats elsewhere). And then the guy says to the girl "What's your fiancé's name again?" I guess you shouldn't assume.