Spring service starts early for Park City Transit as officials keep the essential service operating during outbreak
Park City Transit buses are still running even as the number of destinations continues to dwindle following mandatory business closures ordered Sunday.
It’s imperative the system still functions for those who need it most, said Summit County Councilor Kim Carson.
“It’s the only way that some of our residents have to get to food, to medical care and those that may still be working, (to get to work),” Carson said.
Starting Wednesday, though, the system was scheduled to reduce service to spring levels, a move that comes about a month before it was scheduled, according to Park City Transit consultant Jerry Benson.
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Benson said the district is working to follow the Summit County Health Department’s direction to limit the spread of COVID-19 while maintaining essential public services.
And Summit County Transportation Manager Caroline Rodriguez said two smaller routes, the Kimball Junction Circulator and Canyons Village Connect have been temporarily suspended.
Park City Transit had already seen a 20% drop in ridership starting last week, Benson said, and the district anticipates a more severe drop in coming weeks.
Spring service requires about 25 fewer drivers, Benson said, from a peak of about 130 total. There appears to be enough work to keep the seasonal drivers employed until the previously scheduled mid-April end date of their employment.
The district said it continues to take steps to protect drivers and passengers. Workers disinfect buses daily and the district will ask riders to board from the rear of the bus and to maintain social distancing with other passengers and the bus drivers.
Spring service is normally implemented after ski resorts close and businesses reduce their hours during the shoulder season between winter and summer tourist peaks.
Significant changes include the suspension of the Blue, Orange and Yellow lines; the Green line no longer servicing Deer Valley; and changes to how often some routes run.
For a list of all of the changes, head here: parkcity.org/home/showdocument?id=65382.
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Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz made the announcement Wednesday, indicating all of the company’s year-round employees in the U.S. will be furloughed, starting Saturday, for “at least the next one to two months.”