Saturday, June 4, 2011

223: THE ROUTE THAT JUST WON'T DIE

When I first met the 223, I rode it on a Saturday morning from the University of Utah down into Sugar House. At that time, the 223 ran every 30-60 minutes on weekdays and every 60 minutes on Saturdays, which is fairly typical for less-important routes in Salt Lake County. I was the only person when I rode it, and I saw it go by about five more times while I was at my friend's house, empty each time. As far as I can tell, I was the only person to ride the 223 that morning, and I'm not even a regular rider!

After a while, UTA started cutting back the 223. First they cut the weekday schedule way back (so that there were no buses between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Weird.) Then they got rid of Saturday service altogether. It seems like every time UTA proposes service cuts, the 223 has something to do with it.

Then, a few months ago, when UTA published their initial proposals for route adjustments to go along with the opening of the two new TRAX lines this August (yay!), the 223 didn't appear at all. It was proposed that the 223 be completely eliminated, except for the southern end, which would be covered by the 228 (making the 228 exactly the same as the old 14 ever was; not that you care). I didn't really plan on lamenting its passing, seeing as how I didn't figure it was doing much good.

But somewhere along the line, between the initial and final proposals, the 223 came back from the dead. The final proposal shows that the shadowy corpse of the 223 will run every 120 minutes on weekdays. That's one bus every two hours! That means that one lonely vehicle will slowly, morbidly retrace its solitary way up and down the route all day. Each stop will get serviced six, maybe seven times all day long.

Seriously, someone needs to shoot that thing. Put it out of its misery.

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