There are as many pictures in this post as I have ever seen people on the 836 at one time. Not that I've spent hours and hours watching, mind you, but I've been to Provo Station a fair number of times since the 836 came into existence in late 2012, and, as excited as I am to be able to say "Provo Station" in a sentence, having waited years to do so, I've still never seen an 836 that made me happy.
As far as I have been able to gather from my observations, conversations, and general perspicacity, the 836 was created to fill in a gap that was created by the realignment of routes 832 and 833 in conjunction with the opening of Provo Station; later it was expanded to fill a gap created when the 831 changed last August. None of these portions-of-routes that the 836 has acquired were ever noted for being particularly happening back in the day. I used to ride the 831 in the evenings down from Orem on a fairly regular basis, and I would keep track (of course I would) of how many people got on and off between University Parkway and University Avenue. It was never, not once ever, more than three, even when BYU was a thing (not that BYU people would be traveling from Grandview to campus at 8:30 p.m., but you get the point), and I used to wish that the 831 could be split up so that we could have more direct service to the busy parts of the route and stop running the unbusy parts so late into the evening. This is sort of what happened last year with the 831 and 836, though not exactly how I would have envisioned it--and the 836 has performed accordingly.
I was at Provo Station on a Saturday once, and, having recently got off a FrontRunner train, was angered by the paucity of connecting buses. It would be another hour before there was an 821 or 832; the 850 would not bless us with its presence for another twenty minutes. But there was an 836 faithfully waiting to carry nobody away from the station--and it would be back in a half hour! I am comforted that, starting next week, the 832 (revised) and 821 will start running every hour on Saturdays again, and that the 836 and 833 have apparently been combined to run with one bus (up until now it has taken two buses to run both routes; if you look at the new schedules for the 833 and 836, they interlock almost perfectly). But I don't see a bright future for the 836, to put it mildly. Utah County's bright future of transit probably actually involves getting rid of it altogether, to be very honest.
Sorry to be a downer. In my quest to be a happy shiny transit blogging spreader of joy, I do from time to time experience negative emotions about things. In partial restitution for the negativity I have let slip tonight, let me share with you the most happy frenetic snarky indie rock violin pop acoustic synthetic Japanese American song you will ever hear in your life. When it's over, you won't know what just happened, but you will probably be smiling. Good night.