Park City-Salt Lake City bus plan excites U. student
Launching bus service between Park City and Salt Lake City is a gamble in an economic slowdown.
But the risk could pay off, Summit County Public Works Administrator Kevin Callahan said.
"It will help us manage traffic on our roads," Callahan said.
This week, members of the Summit County Council said they support a bus route proposed between the Old Town Transit Center and Salt Lake City.
"I’m excited about it," Summit County Council Chairwoman Claudia McMullin said. "I’m all for continuing on with the research and studies."
The express route would travel through Parleys Canyon along Interstate 80. Stops in the Park City area could include The Canyons, Kimball Junction and the park-and-ride lot in Jeremy Ranch. In Salt Lake City, the stops could include Rice-Eccles Stadium and several downtown locations along 200 South.
"That route is going to garner a lot of people along that particular corridor," Callahan said. "So it’s going to make it very successful."
The fares on the Park City-Salt Lake City route would be about $4 each way, according to Callahan.
"It’s not free," he stressed.
Still, Callahan said the bus could serve about 1,200 passengers per day.
"That would be a very significant impact in terms of meeting people’s needs," he said.
Depending on the schedule and type of buses, operating the route each year could cost between $1.8 million and $5.2 million. Capital costs for the new route could range from about $3.3 million to $80 million.
The Utah Transit Authority, City Hall and Summit County may share the costs, Callahan said.
Financial assistance may be available from the federal government, and reducing bus service in the Snyderville Basin could free up funding for the expensive new route.
"We don’t want to move forward with this unless we can find a way to do this," Callahan said.
Summit County currently has about $100,000 available in its transit budget for funding its share of the costs, according to Callahan.
The service would target commuters, college students and passengers looking to ski or attend special events.
Jeremy Ranch resident Hanna Glasheen, 19, attends the University of Utah. She and other students would ride the bus in the winter, Glasheen said.
"It’d be huge. I know so many kids who could never find rides to Park City or The Canyons," Glasheen said in a telephone interview Friday. "It’d be convenient for all those kids who are trying to ski or snowboard up at Park City or Deer Valley."
Glasheen said she didn’t have a car on campus last semester.
"So if I wanted to go somewhere, I either had to find someone with a car or have someone come and pick me up," she said. "I know there were a lot of things in Park City that I would have loved to do. I would have loved to go to a couple of those concerts at Deer Valley or The Canyons."
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