Bustang by Myron, Post 10

Bustang by Myron, Post 10

Post 10 – “Sunshine and Lollipops”

Myron works for WSP in downtown Denver as a Senior Supervising Planner. Myron commutes by Bustang from Fort Collins every day, and kindly agreed to write about his experiences for a series of blog posts. Read them in order starting with Post 1 – Hi, I am >BUZZ< and I ride a bus.

But it’s tough not to sing Bustang’s praises and the increase in ridership since its inception is proof that something is going right. Russ, one of the Bus Buddies, says it’s my fault for blogging about the great service and wants me to tell it like it is.

I worked for CDOT before beginning my second career with WSP and I still know several of the people involved with Bustang. Because of those relationships, I watch that my writing doesn’t read like I’m a Cheerleader. But it’s tough not to sing Bustang’s praises and the increase in ridership since its inception is proof that something is going right. Russ, one of the Bus Buddies, says it’s my fault for blogging about the great service and wants me to tell it like it is. So this installment is about the things that aren’t quite sunshine and lollipops.

Myron’s Bustang at full capacity!

Safety Video – I’ve written about the safety video before and my CDOT friends tell me it’s one of the top items people comment on. And they should. Even the handsome extras in the final scene, including CDOT’s Mike Timlin, can’t make up for seeing the same video 10 times a week. Bustang staff must have realized this too, and started slipping a canned, tour bus safety announcement in occasionally. It was produced by an insurance company, looks like the 1950’s, and is extremely concerned a senior citizen might slip and break a hip. It’s about 25 minutes long because of the numerous times we are reminded the driver is there to assist us so we don’t fall and BREAK A HIP! By my count, seven references to assistance, five about watching your step, and 13 times the word “safe” is used to make sure we know it’s a safety video. My theory, Bustang staff is making us watch it so we appreciate the brevity and humor in the video they developed.

Restroom – A great selling point because the drive time can range between 50 to 120 minutes. It is north I-25 you know. Restroom, rest,, relax,,, restroom…. Not! For those who have not experienced this, think about performing a balance beam routine while on a trotting horse. Not an easy task, and one that shouldn’t be attempted standing. Unfortunately, some do attempt the standing 75 MPH double-double that results with a mistimed, misplaced single layout. No one is scoring a 10 in this event.

Air Conditioning – Freezing; winter and summer. I like it on the warmer side and judging by the riders shivering all bundled up in their zero-degree sleeping bags, there are others who think it’s a tad chilly. I understand, the driver is in a magnifying glass case up front and I WANT the driver to be comfortable. Setting the thermostat at 55 degrees while sitting in a mobile fishbowl is good, while in the back we are flash-freezing vegetables as a side job. To be fair, the drivers will ask how the air is and are interpreting the thumbs-up as “okay”. We are really signaling – “turn up the heat.”

Wi-Fi – Or as it is known on the bus, Why-Try. It took them awhile to get it going well. And just when it started working I think the increase in users caused it to slow or crash. So the system was optimized and set-up so you now have to log-in. It seems to work a little over half the time, some buses are better than others. It limits music and video streaming, keeping bandwidth for working and internet surfing. It’s still hit and miss on having internet connectivity. Either the system is tough to maintain, there are too many users, or Bustang is getting a kick-back from cell service providers selling Unlimited Data plans to riders.

Wildlife – Not just the stuff you see out the windows. If you watch closely, you will see mice and small rats occasionally poking their heads out of the side vents or from under a seat. Russ says you don’t need to worry because the snakes will eventually get them.

p.s. Hey CDOT guys, don’t make any changes. At least until we fill our contract with Bird’s Eye for frozen sweet corn and peaches, and they just came into season.

Post 11, Coming Soon

Did You Know?

Smart Commute can over the cost of your first Bustang Trip if you are currently driving solo on a portion of I-25 – check out our I Drive I-25 Program!