Park City is teaming up with the Utah Department of Transportation for a test drive of the bus transit lane from Jan. 17 to 27.
"It's a use of the emergency lane for authorized buses only, which is Park City Transit essentially," Park City Transit Manager Kent Cashel said. "We're going to be analyzing whether that allows us to move down the corridor more dependably than we can when we have a major backup. So it may be something that we'll expand to a longer period of time, but this is a first step in taking a look at that."
The buses will run from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the northbound lane of S.R. 224 between Canyons Resort Drive and Redstone Town Center.
"It allows those buses to continue to move along rather than being stuck in traffic. Then the hope is to get more people on the bus and reduce the amount of traffic on that road altogether," he said. "We want to get as many cars as we can off the road, because traffic and parking is always an issue during Sundance."
Park City Transit will be tripling the number of buses on the road during the Sundance Film Festival and running them more often, he said.
"We're running the same service we have for years, but we really ramp up for Sundance in order to really move people around without taking their cars. There's just not enough road for everybody, and definitely not enough parking," he said.
During the Sundance Film Festival, special events fines for illegal parking range from $75 to $150.
"So you want to pay attention to parking regulations, and not just park in somebody's driveway or in front of a fire hydrant," he said.
Park City has a new trip planning feature at www.parkcitytransit.org .
"So if you know where you're at, you know where you're going and when you want to get where you're going, you can put that in and it will bring up all your options," he said. "For transit, walking and driving, it will give you step-by-step directions."
The site also includes a feature that allows each bus to be tracked.
"We have GPS on those now, so you can see where your bus is," he said.
Cashel said the bus system will be the easiest way to get around town during the Sundance Film Festival. He also recommended people avoid the peak hours of 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
"People have to realize that we have three world class ski resorts all trying to access one highway, including all the employees," he said. "Plan your trips around it because it's a tough time. Most locals know to do their shopping now and get all the provisions in. Obviously, if you have a film to go to, or if you are getting off work then, you don't have a lot of options. But if you can avoid those times, it's best to stay out of it."
Transit maps can be found at www.parkcitytransit.org