Thursday, July 11, 2013


Apparently that's what it's called when missionaries use FrontRunner to get from the MTC to the Airport, or their mission in Salt Lake, as the case may be.  There's always a good crowd of missionaries, but last week there were 29 in one car:

If you know any of these missionaries, I'm afraid a shoutout is, in fact, obligatory.  Especially if you know the sleepy elder in front.
It is fun to see the missionaries and remember my own experiences, but it does make me feel odd that our worlds should cross in this way--they are on their way to the biggest experience of their lives so far, and I'm . . . on my way to work.

This particular time there was a group of sisters engaged in a discussion of Spanish idioms.  The ringleader was expressing her amusement at the saying "Me cae bien . . ." (literally, "he/she falls well to me;" meaning, "we get along well").  I thought about piping up that the opposite idiom is "Me cae gordo . . ." ("he/she falls fat to me"), but I refrained.  They'll learn soon enough.

A little later the same ringleader sister said, "Does anyone remember how to say 'stab?'  We must have looked that up, like, twelve times!"

Another sister said, "YOU looked it up twelve times."

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pretty sure I never had to say "stab" my whole mission, but, for the record, it's apuñalar.

Another time, one of the elders offered me a seat.  I said, "No, that's okay," because I was thinking, sheesh, elder, you're on your way to the biggest experience of your life so far, and I'm . . . on my way to work.  I'll let you sit.


  1. Change day schedules have been uploaded to the website. Signup code for August 2013 is 126.

    Of (brief) note:

    — 3 is reduced to 60-minute headways on Saturday.
    — The 6 returns to 60-minute Saturday frequency. Which I guess makes sense with FrontRunner and all.
    — Ah yes, FrontRunner. As you noted earlier, it also returns to 60-minute Saturday headways. It also ditches the old December timetable and adopts what weekday service has been using since February. Which is great, because FrontRunner was performing poorly on Saturdays.
    — The F94 gets a serious service boost.
    — The 500 clockwise. Love what's been done with that.
    — I have yet to decipher what is going on with the F546.
    — The 806 and 807 add service to UVU but lose trips. Sad.
    — The 830 absurdly leaves five minutes before FrontRunner pulls into Provo on Saturdays. And its connection to FrontRunner in Orem weekday evenings remains abysmal.
    — The 832 receives a change of name (and moves from Center Street to 300 South) and is reduced to 120-minute headways. The 833 incongruously sticks with 60-minute headways on Saturdays.
    — The new 853 schedule (IM Flash loop) makes it look like an Adobe-IM Flash shuttle. Which is really odd.
    — The F868 is basically a brand-new route. But loses eight trips. Saaaad.

    1. My, you have been busy! In order:

      - The 3 has never been very spectacular on Saturdays, so this change doesn't surprise me, especially with the FrontRunner headways. The 3 is really the only "minor" bus in Salt Lake City that has kept Saturday service, though (unlike the 9, 11, 17, 203, 223, and 228). There must be something to it. The zoo? Could it be?
      - The 60-minute Saturday headways on FrontRunner are nice. What a relief. There are even more late night trips on Saturday now--I wonder how many people take them. Though the one time I was at Provo Station at 11:30p.m. there were literally hundreds of people getting off FrontRunner, so who am I to say?
      - The F94 is quite impressive. Flex route seems to have been the way to for that corridor. I've still never taken it! I must do it someday and see whether the hype is justified.
      - In my opinion, you could take those three new trips on the 500, add three corresponding ones in the afternoon, and leave the rest of the route. I take the 500 at least once a week to go to lunch (just because, really); I have to say, it's awfully sleepy during the middle of the day. Most of the route is covered by more frequent buses anyway--maybe just keep the part between the FrontRunner station and the Capitol, and run that all day? Look at me go!
      - The F546 is the stepchild of the old 346. It has always run a couple of trips on the old 346 route, that were nothing like any of the other trips (and, the one time I was down there, I saw the stops still said "346," at least a year after the change. Go figure). It looks like those two scenarios persist, but really no longer make sense on the same route. It might be more sensible to renumber the first three trips in the morning, and the two in the evening. What number to give them, I couldn't guess . . .
      - The 806 actually only runs 3 trips in each direction now; it's still a reduction in total number of trips if you count the 809 being gone, which it apparently is, but it's more trips to choose from for both current 806 and 809 passengers . . . that is so devious. Also, it makes sense to have the buses go to UVU, since they have to go to the garage anyway. I'm guessing that's what the 805 already does (and why all the 805 trips don't go to UVU). Plus, UVU is the only university market in Utah County currently worth serving *cough* *cough*

    2. - I don't really know what to say about the 830 connection to FrontRunner, other than that lots of people take the 830 independent of FrontRunner, and the others get some extra "me time" before they get home. There must be some deliberate reason for it, because it's been so consistent.
      - I had kind of thought that the 832 would go to 60-minute service again on Saturdays. Back in the day when the 833 ran every 60 minutes on Saturdays, the only part people really used was the part that the 832 covers now; the 2-hour service was partly because the southern half was so empty. That's the part the 833 covers now; I would say to put the 833 to 2-hour service now, except that the whole round trip is only an hour long . . . still . . .
      - That 853 must be a mistake. There is no possible reason to cycle the bus back and forth between the two. Please tell me that's a mistake.
      - The F868 appears to be tracing out much the same route as the 807 does now (maybe that's why there's fewer 807 trips?), but only during the middle of the day. Also, the F868 is apparently bi-directional now, since the timepoints reversed when I clicked "find return info." So it's technically the same number of trips, but with less overall coverage. Based on the few times I have ridden the F868, I can't say that any part of it is really "busy." Apparently the corridor on Highway 92 is doing well, because it will now have more or less all day service. I don't know when in Hades I would ever get down there in the middle of the day now (even I can't justify taking off a day of work for such an excursion), but it would be interesting to hear how the F868 does on this new routing.


  2. And a couple of my own:
    - It looks like, as proposed, all service has been pulled from the American Fork Park 'n' Ride. This is probably a good thing, since the moon orbits the earth faster than the bus gets in and out of American Fork Station (that I have done many times on the old 811 and 817). The 811 and 850 will now be duplicating the same route even more, which is interesting, since that's definitely not the busy part of the 850. But maybe a better FrontRunner connection will help that part of the 850. That one I might be able to try out on a Saturday. Which is not the same. Oh, well.
    - It looks like the 830, 831, and 832 have gotten jumbled around quite a bit. I'll have more to say when I can see the maps (am I supposed to be able to see the maps now?). That will surely create some disgruntled riders in Provo. Not BYU riders, of course; there are so few of those left . . . but people in town are going to have a cow if they haven't already.

    My goodness, I'm getting verbose. But it's fun.

  3. Responses, and some more observations now that I've had a bit more time to pore over the new schedules (I'm guessing we won't see maps until Thursday, when the change day page will most likely be updated):

    You're right about the 500. I take it twice every day, at noon and five. Moribund during the former and full of people going between the capitol and North Temple FrontRunner during the latter. I've had that thought too—truncate the route to only run between those two points. But I think the 500 is intended to serve as a downtown circulator as well, although, as you say, other routes more or less fulfill this purpose already. It also provides a connection between the capitol and the Red Line at Courthouse. (Speaking of which, when did the 500 get renamed to "SL Central"?)

    I decided to investigate the 830's connections to FrontRunner a bit more, seeing as it's billed as, you know, a FrontRunner connector. On Saturdays, it pulls into Provo station two minutes after FrontRunner leaves... That's after it leaves five minutes before FrontRunner pulls in. The connection Saturdays is okay in Orem, but just breathtakingly awful in Provo. I think this all stems from being able to only create a decent connection at one of those two stations due to the way that FrontRunner's schedule works. Looks like the same applies to the 831. Unfortunate.

    — Remember how last change day we were discussing the 6 having nine minutes to travel between FrontRunner and the COB? Yeah. That's appropriately been reduced to four minutes. Nine was way, way too excessive. The few times I rode the 6 we would get to 200 West four minutes early. As if that weren't bad enough, we'd get to the next timepoint in front of the COB about ninety seconds early and hold for time even more. So I'm glad that was fixed, although 200 West seems like a rather useless timepoint.
    — Still waiting to see what happens to the 201 (schedule hasn't been posted yet). Routing south of Sandy Civic Center was to be eliminated, but that leaves a rather notable void on State Street between 10000 South and 11800 South. I wish that they decided to just extend the 201 east along 12300 South to Draper Town Center. Seems like a sensible place to introduce transit service.
    — More poor connections: the connection between southbound FrontRunner and outbound 209 in the evenings just went from great to terrible. (I actually used that connection from time to time.) Is this real life. . . ?
    — The Green Line no longer dwells at North Temple FrontRunner for an unreasonable period of time. Every time I ride it through that stretch we end up sitting there for about two or three minutes, which has (amusingly, I'll admit) discomforted passengers on multiple occasions. The connection between westbound Green Line trains and northbound FrontRunner trains has been fixed as well, which has been a perpetual source of contention on UTA's social media streams.

    I think I just exceeded your verbosity. But then again, there's much to discuss.