While certainly not for everyone, the new Utah Transportation Authority’s bus route on base works for me.
I walk less than a block to a bus stop near my home in Pleasant View, Utah. I ride that bus to the FrontRunner Station and ride the train to Clearfield. There I board the bus that enters the South Gate to Hill AFB and 15 minutes later I walk two minutes from a bus stop to my office. As I tell everyone who asks about riding mass transit to work, it works for me.
The first question I always get is, “Doesn’t it take you a lot longer to get to work and back?” Yes, it does. I live quite a distance from base and spend about an extra hour and half traveling to work and back each day. But, right now that’s the most relaxed, peaceful, stress-free time in my day. I get on the bus with a cup of coffee and a book. Before I know it, my coffee cup is empty, several chapters are absorbed, and I’m ready to start my day. Going home, sometimes I read, sometimes I nap, sometimes I just people-watch. Regardless, by the time I get home, the stress of the day has bled away and I walk in the door relaxed and energized.
I’m a reader. Other riders are absorbed by their laptops, smart-phones, hand-held video games and other technologies. Some get on the bus or train and promptly nap out, waking only when they arrive at their stops. Another group gets on in the midst of a conversation that continues unabated until their destination. My point is, everyone occupies their commute in their own way.
I have yet to see anyone stressed-out by the ride in or endangering others by their actions. How many people who drive to work down Interstate-15 can say that? I also never wait in line at the gates; the buses have their own lane and there is only a short delay as the entry controller boards and checks our IDs.
Lastly, with the cost of gasoline, the miles from work to home, and the gas mileage of my truck, I’m saving nearly $100 per pay period, not to mention the wear and tear on my truck. And, because I joined the Transportation Incentive Program, I’m reimbursed for the cost of taking mass transit to work. It now costs me nothing to come to work.
Unfortunately, unless there is enough participation, the bus routes will be unstainable. As I mentioned right up front, I understand this option is not something that will work for everyone. However, there are more than 20,000 people working on Hill AFB. Surely there are 400 who can find this to be their best option. If you feel it might work for you, I encourage you to give it a try. I wasn’t sure, but I tried it and was quickly sold. It may not be for you, but it works for me.