Park City tries to address transportation goals with Electric Xpress
Park City sets its sights on sustainable transportation
One of Park City’s critical strategic goals is to address transportation, in all of its forms. This includes reducing congestion and putting more multi-modal vehicles in place. That means bikes and buses, trails and roads, pedestrian paths and underpasses. Funding has improved after the approved transportation improvement tax last November, too.
Park City Transit’s buses are projected to carry over two million passengers this year, thanks to extended hours, express routes, and the addition of the Kimball Transit Center. In June, they introduced six all-electric buses. This Electric Xpress connects the Park City Transit Center and the new Kimball Junction Transit Center, running every 10 minutes, seven days a week, from early morning to midnight. You can’t miss the bus; there are electric lightning bolts painted all over it.
With zero emissions, these buses are quiet, clean and efficient. They can recharge at the Kimball Center in as little as five minutes. In July, the Electric Xpress saw 35,000 passengers, and Park City Manager Diane Foster said of the bus system, “July numbers are through the roof. On the 4th of July we had 2,000 more passengers than last year’s holiday.”
Park City Transit has also acquired 12 clean-burning, low-floor buses. They include an easier boarding ramp, electric doors, soft padded seats and larger windows. Emissions on these diesel engines has been greatly reduced. Mobile apps help riders find, and catch buses, too.
New this year is the free Kamas Commuter line, which runs from the east side of the county to the Old Town and Kimball Junction transit centers. Initially running mornings and evenings until mid-November, this pilot project may increase times and dates depending on its use. It’s the perfect way to travel to work on those white-out days.
In conjunction with the Utah Transit Authority, Summit County and Park City, the PC SLC Connect bus line is a relaxing, cost-saving way for commuters to come up and down the canyon. With stops in downtown Salt Lake City and Kimball Junction, this year the fares have been reduced.
The nation’s first all-electric bike program kicked off in Park City inJuly. There are 88 of these pedal-assist bikes, available in nine locations, and go well over 10 miles per hour. The program is one of 850 bike-share programs around the world, and users can purchase one-time passes for $2, as well as monthly and annual passes. However, you must be over 18 years old to use one.
And Park City’s 400-mile trail system is seeing record use, spanning two ski resorts and reaching nearly 10,000 feet. During the winter, over 50 kilometers of Nordic track is available in Round Valley and along the Historic Rail Trail. The options for getting around are getting better every year.