Monday, January 14, 2013

Simply Sub-Par Public Transportation

We have this same model in a very prominent place in our house.
For as long as I can remember, I have always, always, always loved riding trains. There's just something magic about them. The earliest memories come from riding the Disneyland Railroad as a very small child and seeing the Grand Canyon (and dinosaurs) through glass. I've been able to recite the boarding call word for word since before I can recall.

I grew an even deeper love and appreciate for trains (and public transportation in general for that matter) in Japan. I traveled to Japan alone when I was 12 and 14 and just loved riding jam-packed rush hour trains. There's an energy about it like nothing else in the universe. I never minded being smashed, I never minded standing, I never minding waiting in line on the platform, I never got sick of it. Not even in the two years I spent serving as a missionary in Japan did I get sick of riding trains.

In fact, in Japan, trains are the most convenient, fast, and cost-effective means of travel for most places. You can walk to a train station from anywhere, get off at any station, do all of the shopping you need within walking range of any station, get back on the train, and walk home without worrying about parking your tons of metal that cost more than some houses. 

Naturally, I was really excited to hear that the UTA Frontrunner line was extended all the way to Provo while I was gone. I've signed up for a class at the Salt Lake Center this semester and couldn't wait to be commuting via train. I was really excited to access the freeWI-FI, relax and do homework on the trip. It turns out that the Frontrunner has a train leaving the Provo station, northbound for Salt Lake every 30 minutes, BUT SKIPS THE 30 MINUTES THAT I ACTUALLY NEED TO USE IT!!! Seriously. I can either leave my 2:00 Provo class early and be an hour early to my Salt Lake Class or leave an hour later and show up 10 minutes late to my Salt Lake class. Thanks for nothing Utah Public Transportation.

I'm going to be driving that green thing (my high school friends know) to Salt Lake once a week. Please pray that I don't die. Because I honestly think the chances are high. The thing drove fine before I left but while I was on a mission,  it's survived months of a smoking engine without oil (seriously, he didn't understand what a red light meant...), some fender-benders, and it's been plowed by a big ol' buck. Not to mention it's nearly 20 years old. I'm scared...

Trains faces...
...driving faces.
I just want to ride trains.

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