Bring on the Bling

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


One of my New Year's resolutions was to take public transit more often than I have been. I usually do really well for a while, but then I start sleeping in and getting downstairs later and later. With the bad weather we've been having here, I've been more inclined to take the train to work. I learned to drive in snow/ice/blizzards/whiteouts in Idaho, so I don't doubt my driving ability in the snow. I have a great car and great tires. I don't trust other drives...specifically the patients and students we get up at the U. They do crazy things and make stupid driving decisions. They are also very passive drivers, which causes more accidents than not. It's been super cold and black ice is everywhere. So, I have made a great effort to not drive more than once a week.

The U has a deal going with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), where students, staff, and faculty get free transit passes. The U is a commuter school and has precious few parking lots...most of which are taken up by rich doctors who pay WAAAAAY too much for a special parking spot. Hosers. The good news is that the light rail, or TRAX, has a few stops on campus, with the final stop at the U Hospital. Also, a bunch of bus lines travel on campus. Remember how I said the U was a commuter school...?

On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have my German class after work from 6-8, right smack in the middle of campus. After class, I used to high-tail up to the TRAX stop, cutting through parking lots in the dark, wearing a skirt, with tons of ice everywhere. I quickly decided that wasn't the safest option for me. Plus, I have to run uphill for 10 minutes to barely make the train. I found that one of the bus routes picks up right in front of the Student "Union" Center, and finishes it's route just 1 TRAX stop from "my" stop. Then, I just wait for the next train to come and take me one more stop. Awesome! Now, I don't have to risk falling and smashing my laptop! Sa-WEET!

My time of the bus has been entertaining. The bus driver is the same every time I take route #21 to Central Pointe. He's this super adorable older man that gets to know his passengers. Most of us are the same people who take that route at that specific time. He's on a first-name basis with a few of the passengers, knows which stops we get off at, and greets many people (NOT me) with hugs when they board the bus. Thankfully, he doesn't give off that creeper vibe.

On Monday, we left the Union building and headed up by the Moran Eye Center. It was a clear night and the driver asked us if he could turn off the lights in the bus and drive slowly so we could enjoy the view. Background: it has been NASTY SMOGGY the last few weeks. Utards refer to this as an "inversion layer." We Californians call it like it is: Smog. Not Smaug...geekin out for a second. From our vantage point, we had a SPECTACULAR vista of the whole Salt Lake Valley. It was beautiful.

I look forward to my time on the #21 bus...mainly because we usually beat the train that I used to take. Also because we don't have to go through downtown and pick up weirdoes. Until next time...
At the Central Pointe stop after getting dropped off...running to make the train!

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