Park City reserves prime parking for taxis, shuttles
May 26, 2018
City Hall recently set aside some prime parking spots along Main Street for vehicles holding certain municipal licenses that are generally obtained by taxi and shuttle services, a move meant to boost traditional transportation firms in an era of upheaval in the industry.
The parking spots are on the street outside the Main Street post office. The municipal government posted signs designating the spots for taxi staging after 8 p.m. The signs indicate a taxi decal is required to park there after 8 p.m. and say ticketing and towing will be enforced.
The parking spots on the north side of the post office are not impacted. They remain reserved for post office patrons. Officials see the spots on the north side as important to the overall functioning of the post office, even after business hours, since many Park City residents receive their mail at post-office boxes rather than at their homes.
The taxi and shuttle industry has encountered difficulties in recent years amid the rise of ridesharing firms like Uber and Lyft. The taxi and shuttle industry in Park City has long been fiercely competitive, especially during the ski season, and the ridesharing firms have even further heightened the situation along Main Street. The ridesharing firms are not as tightly regulated as the traditional companies, leading to worries in the taxi and transportation industry about a competitive disadvantage.
Park City officials and a stakeholder group involving representatives from the taxi and transportation industries crafted a set of recommendations designed to boost the traditional firms. Setting aside the parking spots outside the post office at night was one of the recommendations.
A vehicle must be part of a company that holds a City Hall business license and have a municipal license and sticker designating it as a for-hire vehicle to park in the spots. Ridesharing drivers are not required to hold the licenses and typically do not obtain them.
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Matt Dias, the assistant Park City manager and a City Hall staffer who worked with the group, said other locations along upper Main Street, Swede Alley and lower Main Street were considered before the spots outside the post office were selected. He said the parking outside the post office offers the drivers a central location along Main Street and one that is close to a cluster of nightclubs that draw large crowds.
"It just seemed like the natural place," Dias said, describing the location as having the "highest density of people."
He said the stakeholder group focused on the location.
"At 11 o'clock at night, that's where the critical mass is," Dias said.
The spots did not appear to be heavily used at certain times during the workweek, but it seems there could be vehicles jockeying for the parking as the busy summer tourism season arrives followed by the ski season.
The stakeholder group also covered issues like the possibility of a seasonally based structure for fees attached to business licenses for taxi and transportation firms.