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As bad of an idea as that was, however, I must tell you that it was superseded by the fact that you then honked at the truck and asked it to back up, when it was really your own fault for blocking yourself in like that.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