Friday, March 29, 2013


We've just been through an interesting time with transit around here.  FrontRunner opening was both a glorious joy and an utter failure, depending on who you ask (though the majority of people involved, probably the ones you wouldn't think to ask, seem to be able to get where they're going just fine without any particular adulatory or agony-ridden exclamations); it created quite a stir in the social media world.  Though the storm has largely passed over (and, hopefully, the Airport Line will be somewhat less controversial, though you just never know), the internet still abounds with posts and pictures that inspire extremely snarky responses within me.

I promise to limit myself to transit-related ones on this blog.  This may become a recurring thing, if I feel like it.

The first one I didn't find.  It is similar to an endless volume of other comments on Facebook, and does as well as a representative example as any number of others would:

Image: Garrett Smith

 A number of responses come to mind when I read this:
  • Do you feel better now?
  • Are you SURE the train was two minutes early?  Or did your timepiece just SAY it was two minutes?  Discounting the off chance that you took the 248 or the F590 at the beginning of your journey, you drove to the 4800 West TRAX Station, which means that you had at least some control over when you got there.  Why did you allow less than two minutes to get from that crazy-long parking lot onto the TRAX platform (see picture below)?  Too late now; you don't remember the details well enough to answer.
  • It's actually okay if you don't take the train anymore because individual equilibrium (IE) indicates that, when one person stops taking transit, another will start, due to the extra car on the road complicating someone else's life.  With any luck, the person who takes your place will be nice and easygoing.  And all of us who take transit will be grateful for that.
Seriously, this parking lot is LONG.

 Then there's this beauty:

  • All involved will have disregarded multiple signs, flashing signals, and even physical impediments to crossing the TRAX line before ever making contact with a train.  Anyone who bothers to pay attention will be fine.
  • During the same amount of time, at least ten times as many people will be killed by cars, and no one will care or even notice.  I wish we weren't so callous to the dangers of cars in our society, but we are.

Someone weighed in on the opening of the Airport Line a while ago:

  • *Airport TRAX Line
  • *schedules match, or *schedule matches; probably the first, since you used the singular "Line"
  • Let me get this straight.  You're saying that:
    • No one who lives in Rose Park is important
    • No one who works on North Temple is important
    • No one who works at, or patronizes, the Utah State Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired is important
    • No one who goes to the State Fair is important
    • No one who works at, or patronizes, the airport between the hours of 5:16 a.m. and 11:37 p.m. is important
    • You're right; the Airport Line is going to be worthless.  I may as well give up now.

And this was the one that finally convinced me I should write this post:

  • I . . . I have nothing to say.  I cannot disagree . . .

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


No, this post is not about my amateur interpretive dance career that spanned many high school dances back in the day.  Now that I've brought it up, I'd actually prefer not to talk about it.  If you can find someone else who will tell you about it, though, you'll enjoy the story.

This post is actually about a conversation yesterday on the 200.  I was not a part of it.  But I heard it.  And I understood it.

I mention that I understood it not because its audibility was marginal, but rather because it was simultaneously in English and Spanish.  The man was talking in Spanish, and the woman was talking in English, but it was obviously the same conversation.  It was delightfully loopy; it tickled a part of my brain I haven't used since 2005.  That was when I had a mission companion who spoke fluent English; I, of course, spoke fluent Spanish; and we sometimes had conversations in which each spoke the other's native language, to the wonderment of all who beheld them.

I considered the aforementioned bus conversation blogworthy (as you may have divined), but I couldn't decide what to call it for a while.  After I decided what to call it, I suddenly had a bunch of odd memories from high school.  So I blogged about that, too.

And my brain will probably go in about twenty more circles before I go to bed tonight.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


It happened again.  We had an anniversary.  We weren't really trying to; it just kind of happened.  Time passing, you know.

 This year was a bit scaled back from last year's anniversary celebrations: no formals, dinner was expensive, but not nearly as expensive as last year.  We went to the symphony; my favorites were Jeu de cartes by Stravinsky (obviously) and An American in Paris by Gershwin (obviously).  And of course, we took TRAX.  Did you really have to ask?

We scaled back this year because we are still recuperating from the lean months of my last semester, while simultaneously preparing for baby BUSNINJA to make a dramatic entrance into our lives.  (Babies are EXPENSIVE!)  Money's tighter than it was last March, and it's not likely to get any looser in the foreseeable future, but it's not as tight as it was last December, thank heavens.  It was a lovely evening, if not as over the top as the last one.  Welcome to marriage, I guess?

Here's to many more years, be they fat or lean.  Here's to many more dress-up dates on TRAX.  Here's to a whole gaggle of little ninjas.

BUSNINJA and commutergirl 2 years & counting!

Monday, March 25, 2013


I've mentioned, more times than I care to mention, on this blog that you should never assume things about people you see on buses and trains.  Or anywhere else, now that I mention it.

Last Thursday, commutergirl and I were on the Red Line coming home from childbirth (!) class.  At one of the several University stops (it was dark, and honestly I don't pay attention until Little Miss Matter of Fact says "Central Pointe, 21st South.  Exit here for Green Line trains to West Valley." at which point I become very alert and perspicacious) two guys and a girl got on, chatting with each other amiably.  I assumed they were all probably just friends, chatting amiably and having a pleasant evening on the way home from class.  Until the girl got off, at which point the two guys proceeded to not look at each other or talk to each other all the way to Central Pointe (when I became perspicacious; did I already mention that?).  Oh.  Well, you guys should still be friends.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I know, I know, it's another train. But I still get just a little giddy inside when I think about it.  I saw the commercial on TV today and it made me happy again.

Monday, March 18, 2013


The other day, I was looking at a map of what BYU will look like after the "walking plaza" is finished.

Walking plaza.  Also, larger parking lot.

As I contemplated the map, I suddenly got an idea . . . an awful idea.  I got a wonderful, awful idea.

Campus Drive will be closed.  But not ALL of campus . . .

Now that the actual routes are out, I think I can safely publish this.  Click to enlarge.

All the buses through BYU could be accommodated with little disruption to schedule if they ran down WEST Campus Drive, instead of East Campus Drive.  And while I'm being evil, I added four more bus stops, to replace the one being taken out: one in front of the Tanner building, one in front of the JFSB, one in front of the JSB and one in front of the Clyde building (but of course!).

If the BYU administration saw this map, they'd probably have a hissy fit.  To which I say:


Saturday, March 16, 2013


Dear stupid Provo driver:

The next time you're in downtown Salt Lake and you feel like you just HAVE to get around that bus to get wherever it is so, so important that you get to three seconds earlier (even though you'll just end up waiting at the same light everyone else that isn't cutting off buses ends up waiting at a few seconds later, anyway), don't.

Think about what happened yesterday, when you swung around the 200 and turned right just in front of it, only to find that you were facing the wrong way on a one-way street.  And how, after realizing, too late, that you were facing the wrong way on a one-way street, you sat there in consternation for a little while longer, further delaying the bus.  And how, eventually, you ended up going the wrong way down a one-way street, an offense which, if ticketed, gives you basically enough points to lose your driver's license (which, if you lost, would force you either to take transit, heaven forbid, or sit around moping and waiting for rides, neither of which would get you to your all-important destination as fast as you for some reason feel you need to get there); how this took you so much longer than if you had waited three seconds for the bus to pull back into traffic because you had to go all the way around the block just to get where you were before, no small feat in downtown Salt Lake City.

I know that my telling people like you that if you're less reckless, you'll get to your destination faster is like Jeremiah preaching repentance to ancient Israel, but I'm not going to stop until you all repent.


Thursday, March 14, 2013


I rarely, so rarely, dream about transit.  There must be absolutely no unmet need in my head for transit that I should have to dream about it.  But I do dream about buses occasionally, and when I dream about them, it's usually about some ridiculous change that got made that I'm relieved didn't actually get made when I wake up.

Last week I dreamed that there was a big factory somewhere out west (but not too far west) that had its employees work on Sunday and wanted them to have access to transit.  Since there was no transit service there on Sundays, UTA's solution was to have the 516 run Tuesday through Sunday, with the previous Saturday service falling on Sundays.  In part of my dream, I saw, as though I were flying through the air, the 516 bus sign at Ballpark, with another sign under it that said "No 516 on Monday."

I admit to feeling, in the dream, a significant amount of consternation about this decision, but I found myself unable to air my complaints in any sort of setting where a reversal of the change could be effected.  Then I woke up, relieved that such a silly plan had not, in fact, been put in place.

I told commutergirl about it, and naturally she spent all morning laughing about it.  And posted it on Facebook.  It's okay, I like the attention.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


and now CNN says it too:

Commuting on transit is more enjoyable.  And if anyone had any right to complain about their commute, I think I did.

For the last seven years, I have read, texted, composed, or daydreamed at my leisure on my way to work or school.  And even when work was two-and-a-half hours' journey from school, I used the time productively.  I don't care to admit how many times when I left for school I had not finished (or started!) my homework due that day and still managed to turn it in, because I spent the whole bus trip frantically punching numbers into a TI-83 and scribbling the results on an engineering pad, instead of watching the tail lights in front of mine to make sure they were not getting too close.  It doesn't matter that it took an hour longer, sometimes.  I still got more done in the day than if I had driven.

I've been saying it for years.  And I'll keep on saying it.

Friday, March 8, 2013


So, I've been reading the news alot more since my much-vaunted move to start a Twitter account, and as part of my post-graduate-school reawakening/rejoining of the human race (I'm still in the process of rejoining; I'll get back to you when I have more to report), and I came across a story about Kranky Franks in Springville.  I was mildly interested in the story, since I remember going past Kranky Franks on the bus many times, but I've never been there.  Then I found out that eating there is for a good cause and, hey, I was sold.

There was just one thing the Deseret News article left out: Kranky Franks is located at 388 N. Main St. in Springville, which means there's an 821/822 stop right on top of it.  It would truly be an epic journey for me to visit them now, but if you want to stop by and get a danger dawg, you should.  And you should take transit.  Now you know.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


A Lego (r) Store is opening in Utah!  I'm so excited!

So I'm a geek about a lot of things.  So what?

Also, since it will be at Fashion Place, you'll be able to get there on the 201 or the 209.  Just sayin'.