Thursday, November 10, 2011


For reasons that escape me, BYU is still trying to find the perfect alternative to UTA.

Their first attempt was car-sharing, which, as far as I can tell, has been a spectacular flop.  I'm glad of that.  Not that I have anything against Hertz (r).  I was just insulted, in the original email that BYU sent, at the implication that FOUR CARS could replace over three thousand bus passes.  Guess what?  They didn't.  Surprise, surprise.

This new attempt, which I first saw advertised on campus yesterday (though apparently it has been noised for at least a few days now), is a direct-from-your-apartment to BYU shuttle service called The Ryde (r).  You can find out more about it at their website,

I honestly think this idea has a chance at succeeding.  But I think it will be rough.  Here's "Y":

1.  Substituting the "i" in a word for a "y" doesn't ALWAYS make it cool.

It's corn and corn alone day!

2.  Sure, a Ryde pass is less than a UTA pass.  But a Ryde pass takes you this far:

while a UTA pass takes you this far:

I can see a Ryde pass working for people who only go from their apartment to campus and back, but what about the Mall?  What about downtown Provo?  What about the airport?  Carriage Cove?  Old Mill?  The many, many apartments in Joaquin?  The Temple?  The Templenacle?  Or anywhere else?  Nope.

3.  If you feel like perusing the schedule, you'll notice that the Ryde shuttles service campus from about 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  I don't know about you, but if I left campus before 6 p.m. as an undergraduate, it was because I was sick.  Or dead.

I don't know why I'm in such a Teen Girl Squad mood tonight.

Now, I know not everyone was a music major in college, but there are other reasons than practicing piano in a tiny little room in the basement of the Fine Arts building without any significant human contact for people to stay on campus after 5:50 p.m.  Like concerts.  Or parties.  Or whatever.  In any of these cases, this service would not be useful to you.

4.  There are lots of other costs to operating a bus than gas and driver wages.  Like maintenance.  If you can afford to buy these buses, they're probably not new.  And cleanliness.  If your buses are really going to be "better looking than your old ride" and if they really are white, you're going to have to wash them every day, all winter long, so they don't look like slushsicles.  And that all costs money.  Running a bus company is not easy; believe me, I've been studying it for years.

I could go on, but I presciently sense that I'm losing my audience.  You get the idea.  If this were a free-ish service, or if it served more of the student population, it would better meet the student need it purposes to address.  As it is . . . we'll see.  But I still think it would be better to go with UTA.


  1. I don't know about others, but for me I didn't need to go all the way up to Salt Lake, so when I do, I can spend the $2 or so for the bus trip (or drive since I have a car). For students who only got the pass to avoid frigid walks in the winter, this shuttle system will be great. And since it's the first year, they're not as broad as they want to get. There was an article in The Daily Universe a few weeks ago about it and how they'll expand a lot if people use the service enough to hire the extra drivers, etc. It think it's a great campus option. When you need to go far, take the bus, but that's not often. Since we're on college budgets, there's no real need for the mall. Also bikes are great investments. I wonder how it'll work out with the new science building and its 3-story parking (for faculty and staff). Hopefully that will get rid of some A lots and turn them into student Y lots and then if the situation is still frustrating they'll do what other colleges do and charge to drive and make the bus free. I wish they'd do that. They could use the money they get from people who are lazy or for other reasons feel the need to drive and use that to help others save the planet by riding the bus.

  2. I'd be interested in finding out how many people that are signed up with UTA actually go anywhere outside of Provo. Who wants to take the bus to the mall when you have tons of friends driving there all the time? The Ryde (corny as it may be) is catchy and actually pretty dang cool. The drivers are way nicer than UTA, it's way cheaper than UTA, it's way faster than UTA (direct shuttling), and you only ride with other BYU students which is AWESOME. Go RYDE WOOTWOOT!