February 08, 2013

Adventures in Mass Transit

This is a story about how I messed what should have been a pleasant experience into a nightmare just because I didn't pay attention to 1 vital detail. I was going to ride the bus home on a weeknight after work. I looked at the UTA Transit website for possible routes and alternatives. Narrowed it down to 2 and decided to head out to take a short ride on Trax (the Salt Lake City light rail system) to catch my bus connection that would leave me literally steps away from my complex. I have taken this bus home before (but probably not within the last couple of months).

What I failed to check was the map for my connection bus. Apparently the system has changes ever so often and I waited for what I expected to be my connection bus that never came. By the time I realized the error (after browsing on my phone and calling UTA) I hurried to catch Trax again to a central station which took about 10 minutes to get there, I hoped that I would be able to catch the next bus but missed it just barely as the train was turning I saw my missed bus turning opposite corners. Once I got to the central station the next line was not due for at least 1/2 hour, so I looked for an alternative route which was not due for at least 20 minutes.

I texted Jeff to alert him that I was on my way and not to panic (I should have been home at least a 1/2 hr by this time and was still waiting to get on a bus) frustration can not even begin to describe how I was feeling. I finally took a bus that took forever because by now traffic is full on rush hour. I made it home about 1.5 hours after leaving work---I could have probably walked home and be home way sooner than that. 

I felt so tired from that ordeal that I was about to write an angry letter to UTA but then again, it was my fault for assuming that nothing had changed--which had and from a conversation with a co-worker it appears that things are changing again in a couple of weeks, so I better beware. Still--and I'm not trying to blame anyone here, what happened was my fault--Salt Lake City has never really been a mass-transit premier city. I get that they're trying to get on a level of other major cities in the US but it really is a long ways before this happens and until then people are probably not going to feel comfortable enough to leave their cars home and opt for an alternative ways of transportation.

One positive thing though is that in a couple of months there will be a direct light-rail line that will be running right by my house and will drop me about a block from work. I better get my navigation skills sharpened until this happens, I don't want to be stuck in mass transportation hell again!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with your UTA travels. I think SLC's mass transit is actually much better than any city's in NC. Mass transit is not as economically feasible here since there are several large cities but most are spread apart. People are more hooked on their cars here than I saw when I lived in Davis or Salt Lake counties. I live 8 miles from a small city out in the country. There is limited mass transit from my city to the closest larger city.