Tuesday, November 19, 2013

EASIER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK

A while ago (my backlog of posts is getting longer . . .) I was at Salt Lake Central waiting for a bus.  There's nothing inherently unusual about this.

The 519 pulled in, as the 519 has been known to do, and an elderly man got off who had difficulty walking.  As he was walking from the drop-off place to the pick-up place, the 200 pulled away, as the 200 has been known to do.  He walked up to the benches under the awning and addressed the congregation:

"Damn.  I needed that 200.  Now I have to wait an hour."

(At first I thought he was exaggerating due to extreme bitterness toward UTA, on the order of people in Eagle Mountain screaming that it now takes them 4 hours one way to get to work.  Fortunately, I understood him better as I kept listening.)

"Oh, there'll be another 200 in 15 minutes, sure; it's the 9 that comes once an hour.  So if I catch the next 200 I'll be sitting there at State and Ninth for 45 minutes while the bus driver sits at the TRAX station."

I felt sympathy for this man.  He was already undertaking a three-part journey, and a missed connection makes nothing better.  Especially when you miss it by inches.

But as I thought about it, I realized that there were several ways that his journey could have gone more easily: he could have caught TRAX at Arena and got on the 9 at 900 South or Central Pointe.  He could have switched to the 200 on 300 West or 200 South.  Both of these would have required crossing the street, but certainly not more walking than he had to do at Central.  He probably could have walked over to TRAX and still made the 9 at 900 South (as long as it takes TRAX to go through downtown, it takes the 200 even longer), though I was hesitant to recommend such an ambulatory course of action given his mood at the time.

So I didn't say anything.  Given my feelings about unsolicited advice, I was following the Golden Rule.  But now as I write this I'm left wondering, could I have helped this man?

6 comments:

  1. Something that intrigued me: UTA's latest blog post:

    Buses will operate on Sunday schedules, with the exception of service every 30 minutes on route 35.

    I've never seen UTA operate a single route on a separate schedule from the rest of the system, apart from when the 816 wouldn't run on New Year's Eve. Intriguing.

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    1. I was intrigued by that little quirk as well . . . I have no potential explanation (oddly enough), except maybe they want the MAX to count as "almost-rail" and run a bus every 30 minutes down 35th? But then why wouldn't they just run the 35M?

      Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeg? Do you know?

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  2. Also—have you been around Meadowbrook lately? There are a new batch of '13s and they look different, more streamlined, in the front. Maybe in the back, too. Interesting that the appearance of a model series has changed halfway through its production.

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    1. Sir, you put me to shame. I have got to figure out how to go past Meadowbrook Garage on my way home from work.

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    2. Ha, I was just lucky to have seen these since I really only pass by Meadowbrook once every few months. The buses were numbered 1303X ("X" representing 0–9), so it's possible that I missed a whole batch of 1301X and 1302X buses that went into service. Regardless, if I'm remembering correctly the front looks similar to these specimens out of Long Beach: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2841/9373656478_8f16f3e3a5_c.jpg

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    3. I like that look a little better than the "What is that growth coming out of the top of the bus?" look on the 1300X CNG's and the hybrids. That is honestly what I thought when I first saw a '10 hybrid pull into the Timpanogos Transit Center. It was really early in the morning, in my defense.

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