Thursday, January 24, 2013

Public Transportation Know-How (Part 2) #Frontrunner Saga

After the first day of harrowing experiences and mishaps, almost freezing to death, trying to navigate the Public Transit System using the UTA Bus and the new Frontrunner train, I would think most would give up and quit their jobs or at least forget using the transit system. But I knew that this was going to work, I just knew it! Besides, I have ridden the train maybe once in my life before this and so this was definitely a novel experience and I was having fun riding it! It was worth another shot! 

The next morning, unlike the morning before, I went armed with a schedule, even more layers of clothing and new knowledge of where the train actually left. I was not disappointed. The train came about 5 minutes late at the South Jordan Station and I was on my way. I found out from another commuter that there is actually a phone app called Isis that will check you onto the train for free in the month of January.  Unfortunately my phone doesn't support that app.  Plus, I use more than just the Frontrunner.  I use the Bus as well.  So I need an All Day pass.  When I arrived in Provo, I hopped onto the bus and waited until it left. Easy peasy. I was dropped off at the closest location again. This time there was no one to pick me up and chauffer me to school so I had to walk.  I  arrived at work about 15 minutes late.  Not cool.  I needed to arrive on time or it wasn't going to work.  

So Troy, the head teacher in my unit, was nice enough to send out a mass e-mail to all the teachers and staff asking if anyone passed by the Frontrunner Station on their way to the school.  I got some good responses, even one great co-worker who was willing to go out of his normal route to pick me up!  But the best one was from Margaret, the School Secretary, who asked if I had thought about riding a district school bus from the train station. A light went on in my brain!  Yes!  The train station is in the school boundaries!  I called the District Transportation Office and talked to Delayna, Head of Transportation.  She gave me the closest stop to the train station and permission to ride in on the school bus. 

The next morning, I got off the train and started walking to where I was to meet the school bus.  This was another new experience for me.  Throughout all of  my school years, I had never ridden a school bus.  I had always been close enough to walk or ride my bike. So I was looking forward to the experience!  I found the stop and waited with another girl.  She was so nice and helpful.  Her name is Carlotta.  The bus came and I arrived at school on time!  

Catching the train on the way back involved matching up the schedule to get me to the train so I wouldn't have to wait outside in the cold for very long.  At first I was trying to take a bus back to the station where I arrived.  But I then realized that I should catch a bus going in the opposite direction and catch the train further north than where I arrived in the morning,  No sense in going back south when you want to end up north.  Fortunately, there is a station north of there, in Orem, and the bus goes there.  

So there you have it, my experience making public transit work for me to go to and from work on the train!  If I can do it, anyone can!  Taking the train saves me about $5 per day in gas, plus it saves a ton on wear and tear of my vehicle, all while avoiding the stress of driving in winter weather and riding the train is so much fun! I hope the novelty never wears off!

10 comments:

neoh42f said...

It really sounds like a nightmare what you have to go through for transportation. It makes me feel awful for you, especially in this cold weather.

Helena Lemon said...

It's honestly not that bad. It was just that first week that really sucked! Other than that, I like it, other than the early hours.

Heather! said...

The good thing is that, once you have established a routine, it will soon be old hat (<--funny phrase, innit?). And the savings will really add up!

Helena Lemon said...

It's already old hat and I enjoy my time on the train to just mellow out before getting home. Driving wouldn't allow me to do that!

Wanda McHenry said...

You have certainly done your leg work (no pun intended) and it sounds as if you have gotten it down to perfection. I was happy to see that the school district would pick you up, that is excellent! Great job!

Michelle Hudak said...

Ah those fond bus memories..when I was in school I had to take two buses once a month to get to my orthodontist's office for appointments. It meant at least a 2 hour lead time to get to my appointment factoring in bus delays and walking time. I agree though, far more economical these days to ride the bus and save gas and wear on your car.

Eileen said...

I guess it is with anything new you try, with time you get used to it and then becomes habit. THAT is a lot of money to save on travel expenses. I wish my husband could take a city bus here, but we are about 3 miles off and then it doesnt go to the edge of the city (an actual edge of a smaller town). We spend SO much on auto costs. Just putting 1200 in tires on a truck we don't even use much for work but have to have for the farm too. It makes me sick to throw that money away like that. I grew up on a farm and did not deal with city life or transit. EVER> I'd be intimidated but guess if I had to I would tackle it much like you. And pray a lot.;)

thanks for the great story and happy ending!

BethElderton said...

I have no experience with mass transit myself--it has just worked out that way. However, my son used the Park and Ride bis system in Houston's surrounding area most of the time he was in college. We were in a suburb, and he needed to go downtown. It worked out great for him. The only snags were times that he needed to stay at school late--Houston is just behind the times for reliable transit!--but he simply drove on those times.

Anonymous said...

I used to ride a bus to school when I was in college. I didnt really mind it because the stop was close to the school and I didnt have to work about parking.

Amanda S

Thomas Murphy said...

I love taking the train into the city!