Electric bus charger station damaged at Kimball Junction transit center
An electric bus charger station at the Kimball Junction transit center was significantly damaged sometime early Wednesday morning.
Alfred Knotts, Park City’s transportation planning manager, said a bus driver told him about the charger at around 6:30 a.m. The damage, estimated to exceed $10,000, renders it unusable.
Knotts suspects a semi-truck or box truck may have struck the charger when trying to turn around during the snowstorm. He doesn’t believe it was intentionally vandalized.
The charging station at Kimball Junction helps serve electric buses on the Electric Xpress route. Other stations are at the Old Town transit center and the City Hall public works building. The station at the public works building charges buses overnight. Knotts said the incident will not affect the Electric Xpress route.
“What we have to do is coordinate the logistics of the charging at the Old Town transit center to make sure drivers are communicating and maintaining a minimum charge of around 60 percent,” he said. “As congestion builds in the evening, we will need to make sure they maintain a higher charge in case they are stuck in traffic.”
Diesel buses are also being added to the route to take some of the pressures off of the charging requirements, Knotts said.
“We have additional stock we kept over from Sundance,” he said. “The UTA (Utah Transit Authority) buses may not be as attractive as our buses, but they are moving and are actually bigger.”
Repairs are estimated to take a few weeks. Knotts said the manufacturer of the charging station has parts on hand. He said work may begin to repair the station as soon as the FIS World Championships end. The event is scheduled to wrap up Sunday.
Law enforcement officers are reviewing surveillance footage to try and identify the vehicle that caused the damage in order to require the driver to pay for repairs. Knotts said otherwise the city will likely file an insurance claim to cover the costs.
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