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.

2 comments:

  1. For some it will be faster, others perhaps not. Come winter and a big snow storm comes, they will be glad for the power of the train. I'm sure they have been talking to 472 riders from Kaysville. From the proposals it looks like December will provide better options for us up north as well, more choices at North Temple station.

    With the regular riders and those just trying it out, hopefully they have some Comet cars to handle the load. FrontRunner was standing room only the first few weeks while people were trying it out. Now if only we can get dedicated track to Pleasant View.

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  2. I know people have brought up that the 472 and 473 didn't get cancelled when FrontRunner North opened. But the 472 really is nothing like what it was. The only thing it kept was the number. It didn't really get "kept," after all.

    I, too think people will like the train much better in the snow than inching down I-15 with traffic AND snow. I remember one day a few years ago when the 802 was over three hours late to Orem because of the weather. FrontRunner has some delays, but not like that.

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