Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My Trip to Utah County

Earlier I covered my trip up to Weber and Davis counties. Today, it will be some observations about my trip down to Utah County.

I was wondering in this was the wrong day to take this trip. While nothing went wrong catching the 40 line, once I got to TRAX things went wacky.

I had a 17 minutes before my train which would be the first southbound train of the day from downtown. When the northbound train showed up it was on the wrong track so I knew something was wrong. I then worried about making my short connection to the 811.

Next one of the University trains came into the station also on the wrong track followed almost immediately by another Downtown train. Then a two car train of San Jose cars pulled in heading north but on the right track. The train sat at the station for several minutes so I went up and asked the operator what was up and he ignored me.

After he left another University train pulled in also on the proper track. I then wondered how late our train would be. Finally nine minutes late our southbound train finally showed up. One person commented that the 811 driver always leaves on time no matter what is up with TRAX so I gave up making it, however the bus was still there when we arrived. Sadly, it was one of the low floor Gilligs instead of a Commuter Cruiser and wouldn't you know it was wrapped!!

A couple of observations:

1. UTA Dispatchers should be able to use the loudspeakers at TRAX station platforms in order to keep their customers informed what is going on.

2. UTA TRAX operators need to do a better job of keeping their customers informed of what is happening and if buses are going to be held.

Once I got to Orem I rode the 862, 833, and 832 which have all changed since my last trip here. Surprisingly all the changes seem to make some since except for the poor service to the MTC and Provo Temple.

What is it with the busiest bus routes in the UTA system getting the worst buses in the system? Many of the buses running around where UTA's oldest Orions. Why did Weber/Davis get new buses while Orem that has even higher ridership gets the shaft?

Well I guess that Utah County is getting the BRT line so they should be satisfied even thought should be a streetcar line. It makes more sense as a streetcar line since that will attract more riders than a bus.

The Utah Valley Visitors bureau has a nice brochure that shows all the trails in the area plus bus routes (even though the bus routes are about 4 years out of date). Since I walk an hour per day I like walking new trails and would like to know where they are. UTA should be promoting the use of these trails and be using items such as this brochure more to encourage ridership.

Overall, Utah County seems to work but there needs to be more improvements in order to improve non-BYU ridership on the local routes.

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