Monday, June 3, 2013


I've only ridden the 811 once since FrontRunner opened last December, but it was at the same time of day as I used to always take it before FrontRunner opened last December, so I think it's still a good basis for comparison.  When I took it most recently it was pretty empty, because (duh) FrontRunner opened last December.

It reminded me of a time, however, when the 811 was full to bursting in the middle of the day.

As you can see from this graph, which took me a very long time to prepare, there were indeed more people traveling from Utah County to Salt Lake during rush hour, but the 811 had to bear the brunt of the midday demand all by itself.

When the 811 was full to bursting in the middle of the day, you sometimes had to stand in a tight space with very little to hold onto, meaning that you had to forcibly keep yourself in position with your arms when going around corners.  If you had biceps to speak of, it was a good way to unintentionally show them off.  I imagine I myself exhibited this phenomenon when my biceps were anything to speak of (or do I flatter my former self?  Sigh.  Grad school did wonders for my physique).

One day in the middle of the day when the 811 was full to bursting, a quite muscular man was standing between two of the seats, and found himself in need of bicep-induced stability every time the bus went around a corner (at this time, the 811 went into the American Fork FrontRunner station, which necessitated going around a lot of sharp corners, especially when the bus driver was behind and felt like taking them extra fast).  A man and a woman, who I don't think were a couple (though you should never assume) had apparently noted the occasion and were whispering about it.

"Look!" she whispered, "Every time we go around a corner he flexes."

"He's flexing for you!" he replied in a particularly conspiratorial whisper.

They then commenced giggling uncontrollably.  I chuckled on the inside, because people don't always take kindly to your laughing at their jokes when you weren't included in the first place.


  1. This reminds me:

    Let's talk about the fact that they put MCIs on the 811 right as FrontRunner opened. I think it's really nice of UTA to provide such comfortable, wifi-equipped buses to the remaining ridership of the 811, especially considering it takes eons to get anywhere. . . But I don't feel comfortable with already-tight resources going to something like this. Honestly, they could put thirty-foot Optimas on the 811 during non-peak hours (which, admittedly, is the only time I've ridden the 811 after FrontRunner opened) and things would be barely cramped, and only during some points of the trip. I'm a little bewildered.

    1. I likewise have only ridden the 811 off-peak since FrontRunner opened, so I can't speak for rush hour these days. But I did ride the 811 many times during rush hour before FrontRunner opened, and it certainly wasn't anything awe-inspiring then, so I doubt it's any better now.

      My guess is that there's currently nowhere else to put them. I've seen MCI's on the 807, 853, 805, and 821 (and I would guess on the 806, 809, and 822), as well as the 811. They don't work very well on local routes because there's only one door and the entrances are kind of cramped and the wheelchair lift is kind of a nightmare and takes FOREVER to operate (which is one reason the 811 used to always be so behind on Saturdays before they started running Gilligs on it; I would guess that they use MCI's on Saturdays now as well). I'm not sure there's enough other buses in Utah County to run all the new local trips without putting MCI's on some of the longer routes. Again, that's my guess. But I wouldn't be surprised if the MCI's started slowly (or quickly!) disappearing the next time UTA buys a bunch of buses.

      Regarding the Optimas: I haven't ever seen Optimas on Utah County routes, but that doesn't mean it's impossible; after all, I never saw '01 Gilligs in Utah County either, until two of them (0101 and 0102) suddenly appeared there last year--that gave me quite a shock, I can tell you. Certainly the new routes in Provo/Orem could probably use an Optima just fine. I'll have to keep an eye out . . .

  2. Can't argue with science. Make a graph projecting how much ridership for the F'n514 would increase if it went from South Jordan Frontrunner to the River Park Corporate Center instead of Wal-Mart.

    1. Very well; such a graph may appear in a future post--but don't be surprised at what the "data" says!