Thursday, November 29, 2012

TOP TEN REASONS TO RIDE FRONTRUNNER EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T TECHNICALLY HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE, #5

#5 To Take a Nap

The napability of FrontRunner is scientifically proven.  If it's not, then I obviously missed my calling for my master's research.  Oh, well.

There are times of day when FrontRunner is pretty busy (one of those times will doubtless be the free-ride day on Dec. 8; you probably won't be able to take a nap that day . . .).  But there have been times during the middle of the day when I got on and it was so quiet and calm, and the train was going along so smooth . . .


. . . and the next thing I knew, it was Ogden!

Monday, November 26, 2012

TOP TEN REASONS TO RIDE FRONTRUNNER EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T TECHNICALLY HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE, #6

#6: To park your bike.

harkavagrant.com

As our velocipedestrienne friend above could tell you, riding a bike can be a very dangerous thing.  It would be far better to just put your bike on the train and take the train.  And faster.  You might still need to ride your bike somewhere after you get off the train, because FrontRunner doesn't quite go everywhere, but you wouldn't mind, because FrontRunner has a car with nice places to park your bike.  You don't have to hold it the whole time, hoping against hope that the train won't have to brake suddenly, which would send you toppling over your bike.  Instead it will just send you toppling out of your seat, which is still not as bad as toppling over your bike.


Even if you don't have a bad attitude about life and knock people over with your velocipede, you might still be riding a bike while you desperately need to check your email for something and go to the bathroom really bad.  You'd sure be glad to see that FrontRunner train pulling up.

IT COULD HAPPEN

Friday, November 23, 2012

TOP TEN REASONS TO RIDE FRONTRUNNER EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T TECHNICALLY HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE, #7

#7: To Get One Last Ride In before the End of the World

As we all know, the world ends several times a year, depending on who you ask.






Now, I get my philosophy on the end of the world from Matthew 24:36, in which Jesus says "but that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

All the same, if you've any designs to ride FrontRunner at all, you might want to do it before December 21st.

Monday, November 19, 2012

TOP TEN REASONS TO RIDE FRONTRUNNER EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T TECHNICALLY HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE, #8

#8: To Go to the Bathroom.

What's this, you say?  Go to the bathroom on FrontRunner?  I mean, of course, go to the bathroom on FrontRunner IN the bathroom that is on FrontRunner.  I hope that was clear.

And yes, there is actually a bathroom in the southernmost car on each FrontRunner train.  I tried it out once.  It's not the Hilton, but it's not bad.  I found it much more accommodating than an airplane bathroom, for example.

No, I said it's NOT the Hilton
As with checking your email, it is somewhat likely that, in most situations in your life, there will be other bathrooms available besides the FrontRunner one, but, in those few cases when the closest bathroom is on FrontRunner, and you really, really need that bathroom, you'll be awfully glad it's there (eight commas!).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

TOP TEN REASONS TO RIDE FRONTRUNNER EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T TECHNICALLY HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE, #9

#9 To Check Your Email

Yes, it's true, you can check your email, or Facebook, or anything else you want to check online, on FrontRunner.  WiFi comes included in your ticket price!  If you're one of the few yokels that doesn't have a data plan on your phone yet, there are times and places when FrontRunner is the closest publicly accessible internet.

Even if you do actually have to go somewhere, you can get online on FrontRunner and make your trip more productive/enjoyable/funny/whatever.  commutergirl likes to bring her Kindle Fire (R) along with her on trips to Ogden.  Now she can play puzzle games or watch YouTube videos instead of worrying about the fact that the "Check Transmission" light has come on AGAIN . . .

So, next time you ride FrontRunner, whether you're going somewhere or not, check your email, or whatever.  Tell them I sent you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

TOP TEN REASONS TO RIDE FRONTRUNNER EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T TECHNICALLY HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE, #10

#10  Because Trains are Wicked Cool

So, I originally planned on doing this for the actual ten days before FrontRunner opens, but at the rate I've been posting lately, I've decided I'd better get started now (3 more weeks of class, 3 more weeks of class, 3 more weeks of class . . .)  Also, this is post #599, and I won't be able to put my brilliant idea for the 600th post extravaganza into effect until next year, so I'll do this instead.

Whenever I get around to it, the fact remains that, while most people who use FrontRunner, or will use it, use it to travel from one place to another, there are other reasons that someone might want to ride it, even if they don't have to go anywhere (this sentence contains, as of the end of this parenthetical statement, eight commas).  Which brings me to today's topic:

#10  Because Trains are Wicked Cool
It's worth saying twice, because, honestly, they are.  Throughout my ninja experience, I've observed examples of people who think trains are awesome, even if they find the idea of riding a bus absolutely unconscionable, and say so while on the train (sorry; only three commas).   I've talked to people on both sides of the Point of the Mountain who are excited about traveling to the other side.  Pretty much every time I bring up the fact that trains will soon go to the Airport, BYU students get excited.

What's more, trains are wicked cool for economic development.  Salt Lake has a pretty good bus system, if I do say so myself, but I've never heard of anyone building a hospital, or apartments, or the only major regional shopping center to open in the United States in 2012 (all those terms are defined somewhere), or a billion dollars worth of development in Sugar House so that it could be close to a bus line.  Trains are pretty permanent, compared to buses.  And they move a lot more people.  Trains are good for the economy.

Trains are mostly immune to traffic.  Trains are mostly immune to weather.  Even when FrontRunner takes slightly longer than driving I-15 (when conditions are good on I-15), you have all that time to use on other things instead of driving.  And when the weather's bad, and it's rush hour, FrontRunner might be three or five or even fifteen minutes behind, but not forty-five minutes or an hour and a half (I have been an hour and a half late to engagements in Salt Lake before due to the weather; on one of these occasions, we gave up and took TRAX from 4500 South, which was only about three minutes behind).  And it's so much more relaxing to watch the scenery go by out a window than to spend the whole time making sure you're not too close to the tail lights in front of you.  Just sayin'.

So, yeah, even if you don't technically have to go anywhere, you should still definitely take FrontRunner for a spin.  Trains are wicked cool.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

BE THERE

So, two of my Facebook friends already tagged me in posts about this, so I thought I better get with it:


That's right, you can ride FrontRunner for free Dec. 8!  It does not matter to me that it's a reading day before finals in my last semester of grad school and that I will be going crazy having eight million things to do.  I have to have my priorities, you know.

Anyway, I'm giddy excited.

This is a line of people waiting to get on as the FrontRunner train pulls in.
See you there.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I BORE MY TESTIMONY ABOUT FRONTRUNNER YESTERDAY

Okay, okay, it wasn't actually about FrontRunner.  But it included FrontRunner.  It was a fine testimony, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

THE SHORT VERSION

So, if you've been looking carefully lately, you might have noticed that the number font on some of the bus stop signs around Provo is changing.  Look closely.  It's a subtle change.

I fully recognize that no one else, including probably the person who is changing the signs, notices this.

If you didn't notice the numbers, you might notice that suddenly some of the signs have a lot more text on them than they did before, and they say "FrontRunner."

I fully recognize that no one else actually reads the text on the signs, either.

This is, of course, because all the bus routes are changing in Utah County next month; while FrontRunner is not open yet (oh, you'll all hear more about that, you can be sure . . .), if I were the person who had to change all the signs, I'd want to get a head start on it, too.

It appears that, rather than naming the routes, the signs will now be more descriptive of where the bus is going.  The 831, for example, used to say:

PROVO WEST SIDE SHUTTLE

Now it says:

Orem FrontRunner 
Grandview, 7 Peaks/
Provo FrontRunner 
Connector

which is nice and all, but if it's all right with everyone, I think I'll just stick with "The 831" for now.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

DO YOU KNOW SOMETHING I DON'T?

This morning, on the way to school, I was pondering the deep things in life, like:

All these people that are mad about the expresses in Utah County not going to Salt Lake anymore--how do they know it will take longer on FrontRunner?  Do they have the schedules yet?  'Cuz I don't.

I have it on good authority that FrontRunner South will be about an hour each way from end to end.  Express buses are somewhat more, about 1:20 to 1:30 from Provo to Salt Lake.  I know part of the consternation here is because people will have to transfer to TRAX to get to their downtown workplaces, but you guys know that takes less than ten minutes, right?  No,  you don't, 'cuz you don't take TRAX.  I think it will still come out faster.  I'll get back to you on it.

Another thing:  I don't take the 801 to Provo often, but every time I have, it's been late.  We hit traffic at about 1300 South and marinate in it all the way to University Parkway in Orem.  I've been late enough to miss my connection the last two times--since my connection was the 833, which only comes once an hour, this ended up being quite inconvenient.  And making me quite cross.  FrontRunner does experience delays, but not often on the order of fifteen minutes or more.  Even if the trip is slightly longer on the schedule, I think FrontRunner will make up for it in increased reliability (meaning, in this case, both better on-time performance and better consistency).  Being able to make your connections is a valuable, valuable thing; even if you're only making a connection to your car, it's still comforting to arrive in town when the schedule says you will.

I know that direct express bus service to downtown Salt Lake is convenient for people that work right there, but it's not convenient for everybody.  Here's an example: one day I was trying to get to Provo from Central Station.  The Provo expresses don't stop at Central, so I got on the 200 and caught it to 300 West 100 South.  I waited for the 801 for a while, then we went all the way through downtown before we got on the freeway.  A full half-hour after I had left Central, I looked down from the viaduct on 400 South at the station platform and thought, man, if only FrontRunner just kept going.  After we got on the freeway, as previously mentioned, we hit traffic all the way down to Provo, AND I missed my connection.  It took me over three hours to get where I was going.  Blah.

FrontRunner also runs all day and goes both directions, neither of which the expresses do.  As bad as the commute is on transit, the reverse commute is much, much worse.  And going back and forth between Provo and Salt Lake in the middle of the day on the 811 is possible, but it kind of becomes the focal point of your day (5 more Mondays 'til I graduate, 5 more Mondays 'til I graduate, 5 more Mondays 'til I graduate . . .)

So, all y'all that are mad about FrontRunner taking longer--since you know how it's going to be, could you share it with me?  I'd like to look at the FrontRunner schedule so I can get excited about it.  Thanks.