The best bus ever

The best bus ever
Jason Sievers' awesome Art in Transit bus

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Saturday bus blues

Saturday is an especially inconvenient day for bus riders in Boise, since the routes only run once each hour. (Almost as inconvenient as Sunday, when they don't run at all.) My plan today was to catch the #3 Vista at Overland at 9:05. I was within sight of the stop by 9 and waited there until 9:20. No bus. So either it was more than five minutes early or more than 20 minutes late. My guess is the latter; I saw a #17 Warm Springs about six minutes early yesterday afternoon.

While I waited, a heavy snow started to fall. It was beautiful. So it wasn't an entirely wasted walk to the bus stop.

What are your experiences with the on-time performances of most Valley Ride routes?


wolf21m said...

Most of the time my morning bus trip is ontime. It definitely should be as it is the start of the first route of the day. Over the past few years there have been a few late starts, but not too many. The return trip is another story. Generally (I guess 80% of the time) the bus is within 5 minutes of being on time. Occasionally 10-15 minutes late. Two times during the year are big problems. The Western Idaho Fair causes big delays, mainly for traffic as not too many fair goers take the bus (not sure why with the traffic). The other time is Christmas. Since my afternoon route originates at the mall, it gets later and later through the day. The week before Christmas, my 3:30 bus was 35 minutes late (it was snowing as well). Last year I had one 45 minutes late the week before Christmas. Since it only runs hourly, not much you can do. The biggest delay was the hot day that where we had two buses overheat. One overheated at our bus stop. We essentially waited for the next bus 1 hour later. It picked us up and then overheated as well. They sent a third bus. I arrived downtown 1:45 late. Of course, this only happened once. The buses really do not like temps above 100.
I have always thought it would be a good idea to have a GPS tracker on the bus that shows on a web page. I generally could get 5-10 minutes more work done if I knew I did not have to be at the stop. During the big delays, I would know to go a bit early and catch the previous bus, or continue working until it got close. I am sure I could get my company to contribute some dollars for it, but not enough to outfit the entire system.

Anonymous said...

I ride the #9 most Saturdays, and it's mostly on time. It's occassionally late, once early (but not too early for me to watch is drive by and I approached my pickup!). Overall, timely. I concur about the routes being infrequent, but I doubt current usage could defend increased frequency. Someday I'd like to see if more frequent, but for now, I thing it's time for Sunday an evening services.

Julie in Boise said...

Just an update: I've taken the #3 Vista several other Saturdays since this post, and it's been on time. Guess I just hit it on a bad day back in January.

danielo, I agree: Given a choice between more frequent service on weekdays and Saturday or new Sunday and evening service, I'll take the latter. But I hope we can get both!