Wednesday, February 26, 2014

805TH POST: THE 805

If any of you had recently counted how many posts have been posted on this blog since its inception, I'd be worried about you.  Also, you would realize that the 800th post came and went four posts ago without any kind of mildly amusing celebration to call its own.

Let me assure you, before you get all worried, it was all on purpose.  You see, we have come to the 800's: the Utah County routes.  Since it was in Utah County that I ever started riding the bus, I still feel a special affinity for those routes, even though I don't ride them nearly as often as I used to.  So I decided that, while we're here, we might as well do a post about all the route numbers.

Without further ado, the 805:

In each of the (hopefully attractively) crude sketches I'm including in these posts, the heavy lines represent more or less what the route does at the present time, while light lines represent things the route used to do, but doesn't currently.  In the above, you can see that the 805 used to go all the way to Salt Lake, and also used to stop near the freeway in Springville--lest you get too nostalgic, however, remember that it didn't stop in Provo or Orem then; it went straight from Springville to Salt Lake, so you were rather out of luck (or had to take the 822, which was kind of the same thing in the middle of the day) if you needed somewhere in between.

This was generally recognized to be a "problem," so a little later on UTA introduced the 808, which went to the same park'n'rides as the 805 but also stopped at the Provo Towne Centre and UVU.  Then the Provo Towne Centre stop went away

(I once got on the 808 there.  I was the only one.  And the 830 driver who pulled through while I was waiting asked me why I was sitting there if the 832 had just left and I wasn't getting on his bus.  I jogged his memory--he eventually let it go, but I could tell he still thought I was weird for trying to catch the 808 there.)

and the 808 became comfortable with its identity as a UVU shuttle.  Then FrontRunner happened and the 805 and 808 got combined into a single 805 which now runs 6 times in the morning and 7 in the afternoon (as opposed to the old 805 and 808 which both only ran two trips each way--very devious) and includes the Santaquin stops which were previously on the 822.

No, I've never ridden it (when we make it that far south to visit family, we end up just getting picked up at the Provo FrontRunner station), but I've seen it pull through the station looking at least reasonably full, which is more than I can say for other buses there (more on that later, obviously).  The 805 is a fine bus and I hope it sticks around.

Stay tuned!


  1. I must have missed the 600 series if bus routes.

    1. Alas, the idea came to me too late. But I may have to do some research, since the 900's are coming up, and "9" is really just "6" upside-down. I've ridden the 603, 612, 630 (briefly), and a rogue F628 before. So, quite a bit of research, actually.

  2. Can't wait to see the surely special post you have saved for the the 812. Or this 809.

    1. Oh. My. I knew about the 812 (I'm just old enough), but that 809 . . . People can say what they will about bus service in Utah County, but it sure seems a lot more sensible now than it was originally.

    2. Fascinating. Do you know the deal with the 812 and how it got to be the 817?

      PS, did not know the 862 used to be two routes.

      PPS Guessing this is from the days when taking transit was popular at BYU.

    3. Unfortunately, I'm fuzzy on the details on the 812/817; that happened while I was in South America. When I got home the 812 sign had been replaced with an 817 sign. As BYU was at that time the northernmost (!) point in my commute, I registered the fact but didn't really investigate. I didn't know I would later become a regular eight-seventeener . . .

      P.S. the 861 and 862 were before my time as well, but I remember the 862 going all the way around the circle (as shown on that 861 map between the Transit Center and UVU). When I lived near BYU campus there was also a map on the wall of one of the bedrooms that had all the bus routes at the time (incl. 861, 862, 840, no 822, and the 830 ending at East Bay because Provo Towne Centre hadn't happened yet), as well as bike lanes and trails, that apparently hadn't been taken down by a decade's worth of male collegians. It's probably still up; not that the house's current inhabitants would let me into their bedrooms to check.

      P.P.S. I remember the 835 well. It is as good an example of wasted potential as I have at my disposal. It evolved out of double headers that were being run on the 832 at the time (at 7:39 and 8:39 a.m.); the idea was apparently that you could hit the busy stop on the 832 on 7 Peaks Blvd, then cross over and hit the busy stop on the 831 on 9th East, relieving congestion on both routes and giving those in between another option--there was a stop on 450 North right in front of my apartment. Weirdly, though, the route was not announced at change day; the first indication that something was changing was that the busy 832 stop on 7 Peaks Blvd. had a "Stop Eliminated" sign on it. This provoked much outrage until we all realized that the bus was still stopping there anyway--it turned out that the stop was actually getting moved 200 feet to the other side of the intersection. I realized what was going on when the 835 sign went up in front of my apartment, but the busy 832 stop never did get an 835 sign (just a turn marker that said 835 on it). In addition to not being introduced at a change day, the timing on the route changed about every two weeks; the only indication of what time the bus was coming was a hand-lettered "Passenger Information" sign at each stop. More than once the bus driver forgot to turn on 450 North, and we watched the bus pass by us from a distance, after which we had to unceremoniously run to the 831 stop more than a block away to catch the bus in time for class. Once the bus driver completely blew by the 831 stop on 9th East, even though there were over 20 students waiting for the bus there. It was no surprise when, a few change days later, the 835 was being cut "due to low ridership," as most of us had gone back to using the 831 and 832 anyway. *End of rant*