Tuesday, May 13, 2014

821TH POST: THE 821

There's actually not that much to tell about the 821: it's the first route in this series that was created in December 2012 when FrontRunner South happened (the 809, alas, proved short-lived), so it doesn't have as much history as the others.  Which is not to say that this corridor doesn't have a lot of transit history, and not for me personally.  But I've decided to save that discussion for number 822.  For sentimental reasons.

Suffice it to say for this evening that the 821 was born out of the long-standing conflict between BYU and not-BYU.  The BYU crowd was the biggest source of ridership on the 820 and 822, but sending them to BYU meant that BYU was the only transfer point to other Provo routes, which was inconvenient for everybody not-BYU and made BYU uncomfortable because of the presence of less-than-celestial people waiting to transfer near (or even inside--the horror!) the Wilkinson Center.  The scales were decisively tipped in favor of South Provo when BYU did this to transit

and the Provo FrontRunner station opened.  The 821 took over the all-day duties of transporting people out of southern Utah County, while the 822 now runs direct to BYU and UVU during rush hour (there was trip each way in the middle of the day for a while, but I wasn't really surprised to see it go).

The only routing change there has been to the 821 so far is that instead of going down 1400 North in Springville to the freeway it now goes down 1860 South and through East Bay (I wouldn't venture that ridership to East Bay is spectacular, but it's probably more than on 1400 North in Springville) and past the Provo Towne Centre (where ridership has never exactly been spectacular, either, but hey, FrontRunner! Maybe?)

Have I ridden it?  Actually, no.  The only days I have time to visit my parents are Saturdays, and the 821 comes once every 2 hours on Saturdays (though now that FrontRunner comes every hour instead of every hour-and-a-half on Saturdays it at least lines up with every other train instead of maybe two trains all day); I would do it, but practical wives and eager grandparents are not interested in our waiting at the Provo platform for an hour then catching the bus for 40 minutes just to get there.  So, no.  But I have some idea of what it's probably like, since I used to catch the 822 on Saturdays and it wasn't exactly the BYU crowd.

I have high hopes that the 821 will someday come once an hour on Saturdays, though this will probably not mean that I will start riding it, since it's still a 40-minute bus ride.  But maybe someday I'll just take it from the FrontRunner station to the mall (a 3-minute ride . . .).

That still counts as having ridden it, you guys.


  1. I've ridden the 821 a few times to visit my brother, who lives in Salem. It integrates pretty well with FrontRunner, although the 36 minute ride is a bit long.

    1. It used to be 41 minutes from BYU . . . it was good reading time though :)