Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday trip to Ogden...

UTA TRAX Sandy train at the Gallivan Plaza sto...Image via Wikipedia Yesterday I had another experience at riding Front Runner.

I took the 2:25pm out of Central Station up to Ogden. Arriving at Central Station I was amazed at how many people were getting off the train and heading for TRAX. I knew that the Italian festival was going on in front of the Rio Grande depot but did not expect such crowding on a Saturday. While my train wasn't full it still had a pretty good crowd.

I forgot to bring along my schedules when I left home and didn't think to get one while on Front Runner so I went into the transit center to get them. I knew what times my buses were supposed to come but wanted the schedules in case something happened.

While the schedule racks were well equipped, there were no Front Runner timetables. In fact all the Front Runner timetables were stored next to the ticket windows but were not accessible due to a gate being down on the weekend.

After running into the transit center I got on the 603 which was a 2007 Gillig BRT bus in order to ride over to Washington Blvd to connect with the 612. The last time I was in Ogden I saw several Chinese restaurants along the southern portion of the 612 so I was planning to head to one of them.

I was delayed in boarding while a woman helped putt her elderly mother on the bus who needed to transfer to the northbound 612. There was also a family sitting near the front with a couple of children. I didn't pay attention to the two woman sitting on the left side of the bus as I passed them at sat down in the left side seats before the step to the rear of the bus.

As I sat down the one woman wearing jean shorts and a tube top on the left side of the bus was trying to collapse her baby stroller. She started getting really mad at it and after a couple of minutes threw the baby stroller out the door of the bus, then put a cigarette in her mouth and walked out and started smoking (at the time I thought the baby was still in it but the other woman was holding the baby).

After a couple of minutes she finished her cigarette, finally collapsed the baby seat then came in and slammed it onto the empty area above the right front tire. You could see the family on the right get upset when she slammed the baby stroller next them as it hit the side window very hard. The woman then looked at them and said "Don't give me a dirty look, just get the **** off the bus if you don't like it".

Yes this woman had some anger issues to deal with. The mother of the family on the right went up and said to the driver that she was nervous riding with that woman on the bus but the driver just kept looked in the mirror at angry woman as she bent over above the other woman who turned out to be her mother who was holding the baby.

Then angry woman made a couple of more comments to the mother on the right as the bus headed over to Washington Blvd which fortunately is a short ride. I got off the bus quickly and walked over to catch the 612. There is only supposed to be a 4-minute wait for the 612 but it was no were in sight. When I saw the northbound 612 show up I walked over to that bus since I still could not see the southbound coming.

I board the bus that was fairly crowded. I ended up sitting on the seat directly in front of the back door. The family from the 603 was sitting on the left side of the bus while the mother of the angry woman from the 603 sat in the same seat as I did on the 603. The angry woman's mother showed all the signs of being a meth user.

I knew there was some fast food places at 12th Street so I decided to head up there. We ended up stopping at every stop along the way and by the time I got off the bus was standing room only. After a quick lunch at Wendy's I took the 612 back to 25th street. This trip was very uneventful except for one woman who got on with a baby stroller with the driver telling her she need to have it collapsed before boarding the bus.

Instead of riding the 603 three blocks to Union Station I just walked.

Since I still didn't have a timetable for Front Runner, I went over and boarded the train after it pulled in at 8:25pm and waited for its 9:08pm departure. Just before departure a police officer walked through and checked everyone's tickets.

The trip down to Salt Lake City was pretty uneventful except for a couple of people who got into argument in the transition area at the end of the car although nothing ever came of it. When we arrived at Central Station at 10:15pm there was a huge crowed getting on who started pushing on before we could even get off the train. Some of them were even dressed in pretty formal attire.

I had a few minute wait until the next Sandy train departed. The northbound Front Runner left with a full load of passengers despite it being 10:25pm. There was even a large group to get on our southbound TRAX train. I knew since I was getting off at the 4500 South station the best place to sit was the very back of the train so that is were I decided to sit.

There was good crowds greeting the train at very stop and we had a full seated load by the time we left the Courthouse TRAX station. Upon arriving at the Ballpark station it was clear the Bee's game just let out and there was a wall of people ready to board the train. From the stop until I got off at Midvale North station the train was standing room only.

Overall, this trip was a mix of everything. From the people getting on Front Runner in formal wear to the angry woman it was a mixture of extremes. What is clear is that that we have a developing system that is becoming a vital regional resource. I was able to travel by UTA bus, Front Runner commuter rail, and UTA TRAX service to make a trip across the region. This is how the system is supposed to work, I was able to take multiple forms of transit to reach my destination in relative convenience.

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