Posted by HB Thursday, February 11, 2010

 We have bought in...almost.
We are going to be a public transportation family...maybe.

With a Front Runner train station and a Bus Rapid Transit hub scheduled soon to be in operation just a couple of hundred yards from our back door, we are weighing the pros and cons of becoming a public transportation family.

The station and hub are still at least a year away from being a reality, but the construction is under way. So is the analysis of our involvement in public transportation.

It will be an all-or-nothing decision. If we opt in, we will be all in. That means we get rid of our cars and jump on board the train and bus.

The first benefit of dumping our vehicles is the money we will save every year. There will be no car payments, no insurance payments, no expensive gas to purchase, no yearly emissions and inspection costs or taxes and licensing fees to pay. In ten years we could be rich.

Like most things in Utah, it is hard to separate Church and state and this issue is no exception. Becoming a public transportation family has Church ramifications.

Without vehicles, it is highly unlikely that you would ever be called on to serve as scoutmaster or work with the young men or young women in your ward.

How are you going to haul them to scout camp, girl's camp, Lake Powell, the Green River, Colorado River, Yellowstone, the beach at San Diego, Dodger Stadium or Las Vegas to the MWC basketball tournament if you don't own a car? You can decide for yourself if that is a pro or con for being a public transportation family.

If you have a truck and sell it to go strictly bus and train, you would also remove yourself from the moving matrix of your ward. You could still volunteer to help, but it is difficult to get your neighbor's mattresses and stoves on the bus. Again, that could be a plus or minus of public transportation as it pertains to your church activities.

Now to the skinny part of bus and trains. Without a car, there would be no late night runs to the convenience store for Dr. Pepper and Doritos.

Ice cream would have to go. You can still purchase it at the store, but by the time you get on the bus, go through two transfers and arrive home 1 1/2 hours later, it is melted and a moot point.

Going through the drive thru window at IN-N-OUT Burger is also not an option, unless you charter your own bus.

Back to grocery shopping. You can save money by turning in your Costco card. Bulk and big items don't do well on buses. You can probably reasonably expect to get two plastic bags of food on the bus for each person. That means you will have to adjust.

You don't want to waste your bags on big jugs of milk. It would be better to purchase powdered milk or buy a lactating goat and keep it in your back yard.

You can still buy all the bread you want, but would have to crush and crunch it at the store to make sure you can efficiently use your available shopping bag space. The same method would work with Twinkies.

Even if you are not a gun advocate, you would need to purchase one. That is because it is easier to have a couple of chickens and a goat in your back yard than it is to buy eggs and milk at the store and carry them home on the bus.

You would need the gun to shoot your neighbor's dog and keep it from killing your chickens. Don't worry about making your neighbor mad. He will probably already be upset with you for asking to borrow his car 12 times in the last two weeks.

If you do need a car occasionally to get to a doctor, dentist, movie, massage parlor or tanning salon, just call your home teacher. That is what they are for. It's in the handbook. Look it up.

One potential drawback of public transportation is the lack of privacy. Don't worry. We have thought this one through. Just don't shower, shave or use deodorant for three days before boarding the bus and you will have all the privacy you want.

Your romantic inclinations may take a hit, however. My wife has already told me that there will be absolutely no necking or making out in the back of the bus.

The ultimate test of the value of public transportation is in the parking lots.

Just go to the headquarters of the government agencies in charge of promoting and providing public transportation and check out their parking lots. They are full. If public transportation is such a great idea then why do the administrators of those agencies not use it?

If you want to know how this turns out and if we do decide to sell our cars and go strictly bus and train, give it a year and then board any bus in Utah. If you see a guy who hasn't showered, shaved or used deodorant sitting alone with melting ice cream oozing from a grocery bag and a lactating goat at his side, be sure and say hello.


  1. TW Says:
  2. Why waste your time on getting to the store for your own Dr. Pepper and Doritos? Isn't that exactly what *your* home teachers are for? To get them to *you*......



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Thru the lens and life of HB

I'm an apprentice senior citizen who can't wait for my old-man discounts to kick in. At one time, HB stood for Healthy Baby, Hunky Body, Happy Bridegroom, HouseBroken and Half-Baked. My current HB status is Has-Been. A few more Happy Birthdays and Hardly Breathing can't be too far away. Then, hopefully it will be Heaven Bound. I will keep you posted.

Hefty Baby..................Healthy Boy

Hefty Baby..................Healthy Boy

Happy Bridegroom...Hare-Brained

Happy Bridegroom...Hare-Brained

Housebroken...........Has Been

Housebroken...........Has Been