Last week, I took a trip up to Weber/Davis counties. There was a couple of main reasons why I wanted to head up there: 1. To ride line 626 which I have not had a chance to ride since it was changed several years ago. 2. To ride one of the new Gillig buses that UTA claim are so wonderful and much better than a standard bus.
I will so glad when I can jump on FrontRunner and head up to Weber County but right now it was a trip on the 11 to the 72.
Riding the 72 is nice with the nice Commuter Cruiser MCI buses. However, the driver need some customer service training. While he wasn't unfriendly he was not friendly and when asked the question answered very Borg like and refused to give a straight answer.
On the 626 the driver was friendly to most customers including myself but on the other hand did yell at one elderly lady for standing up when he was stopping at a light and a Junior High student for taking to long to load up his bike on the rack.
All the other drivers through out the day where friendly which is not unusual as most of the drivers I encounter on UTA are good.
The next bus was the 610 and it was one of the new Gillig buses. I do not see much difference between this bus and the 1999 and 2001 Gillig buses UTA has except for seamless windows, new front and rear caps, and a more deluxe cloth on the seats. In addition two of the buses had problems. The first one on the 610 had very back breaks that squealed worst than any other bus I have every ridden. To top it off I got this same bus heading back later in the day. The other problem was the back door was broken on one of them on the 603. Not good for a bus that is only a few weeks old.
Overall ridership on all the routes I rode was good except for the 626. In the morning I was the only customer for more than half the route. Returning in the afternoon toward WSU Davis there was several customers on and off along the whole route so ridership is building.
Another observation was that there was construction on the 612 that is delaying the buses up to 10 minutes. Yet, there is nothing posted on any bus stop sign mentioning that there could be delays which since this will last through the summer. UTA needs to keep its customers better informed on what is happening. (Look for more on this when I talk about Utah County). Customers need to know if their buses are going to be delayed.
Overall, ridership was good on all the routes I rode, most of the drivers where friendly, and the system seems to do the basics of what needs to be done. However, there is plenty of room for improvement in the system and UTA needs to continue providing better service to its customers.