Future bus routes may serve Oakley, Kamas and Wasatch
In the next seven years, Summit County officials hope to accomplish a long list of transportation-related goals, including building a transit center at Kimball Junction, adding a commuter bus service from Park City to the East Side and possibly adding a bus route to Wasatch County.
The County Council members approved the transit plan on Wednesday and said they were happy with Public Works Director Kevin Callahan’s focus on tying the communities together.
According to Callahan, many elements of the plan hinge on the construction of the transit center.
"We plan to have a bus that goes to all the commercial areas of the [Kimball] Junction, like the Outlets and Redstone, and also have an express bus from the Junction into Park City every 20 minutes," he said. "But these all depend on the development of the transit center. We need somewhere to park the buses and pick people up."
The county aims to have the transit center built by 2014 but is waiting to see how long it will take to receive federal money for the project.
"It will be next to the Sheldon Richins building and be similar to the transit center in Park City but smaller, probably about 2,000 square feet," said Callahan. "There will be a waiting room, restrooms, two rows of bus parking for a dozen buses and an electronic kiosk giving accurate bus-arrival times."
Callahan added that the transit center is being built for the long term, when a large number of buses may need to be parked there due to increased service to Salt Lake City or the East Side. He estimates the total cost of the center will be around $1.2 million.
Once the transit center is in place, the county hopes to add bus routes linking Oakley and Kamas to Kimball Junction. Similar to the Salt Lake City/Park City Connect bus, it will target commuters and be fare-based.
Callahan said the long-term goal is a commuter bus from Summit to Wasatch County, but first, the Wasatch County Council must approve its share of the funding. Wasatch County Manager Mike Davis could not be reached for comment.
The county’s most recent transit undertaking, the Salt Lake City/Park City Connect bus, has been more popular than anticipated and is running at 30 percent capacity, said Callahan.
"The ski resorts have not signed on to use it yet. Despite that, we have a lot of people riding it to work and just paying cash," he said.
Before approving the transit plan, the County Council asked Callahan how much flexibility there was to create new bus lines to the recently approved developments like Silver Creek Village or Discovery.
"If the demand is there, we will find a funding source and create modifications in order to serve it," he said.
Summit County and Park City have each committed $12,000 to the transit plan and have received about $100,000 in federal funding to enact the projects over the next seven years, according to Callahan.