Few commuters taking advantage of remote parking lot on Kilby Road
Summit County officials expected that it would take a while for commuters to begin using the new remote parking lot on Kilby Road and so far the adoption rate has been slow, says Caroline Rodriguez, Summit County’s regional transportation planning director.
Rodriguez estimated that about 20 cars or fewer per day have been using the park-and-ride lot since it opened in mid-November. The 450-space lot is located across from Ecker Hill Middle School. Monday morning there were six vehicles parked there.
“We expected this,” she said. “It takes a while for people to trust that a new transit service will be reliable and there when they need it. What I have heard from the people who have used it is they love it. It gets them to the resort base that they want to get to quickly.”
Park City Transit provides bus service from the lot every 10 minutes from about 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Two existing transit routes — known as the Pink and Lime — were redesigned to accommodate the service.
Approximately 640 people got on a bus at the park-and-ride lot between Dec. 30 and Jan. 5, with an additional 614 getting off at the lot during that same time period, Rodriguez said.
“For a new service, it is about what we have expected,” she said. “We haven’t had any negative feedback and ridership on the Lime has been great. People who board at the lot are looking at what bus is coming and makes sense to them when they are trying to get back to the lot.”
Elected officials selected the Ecker Hill location as the first place to develop a park-and-ride lot. Locations near the Park City Tech Center in Kimball Junction and the Richardson Flat lot were also considered.
But, officials were hoping the remote parking lot would capture traffic from Interstate 80 before it reaches Kimball Junction, especially employees who work at Park City Mountain Resort. The Canyons Village Management Association reserved 200 spots for Canyons Village-side employees and plans to eventually require employees to park off-site.
Rodriguez said officials made the right decision when they selected Ecker Hill.
“The fact that people are using the park-and-ride proves that,” she said. “They are using the revised transit routes and that demonstrates that people are willing to give it a try. The location was something people misunderstood as a parking area anyways, and now they are understanding as the public that they can use it.”
The lot will continue to operate as normal during the Sundance Film Festival later this month, Rodriguez said. The festival runs Jan. 24 until Feb. 3. However, additional signage and messaging will be placed along the interstate to direct commuters to the lot.
“We have such high frequency — it is pretty much every 10 minutes — and since it goes to the transit center where the Sundance routes will be intersecting it, we decided not to make any additional changes,” she said.
Messaging boards, along with construction-like signs near the Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook interchanges and in Kimball Junction will advertise the option. Rodriguez said the Utah Department of Transportation is also working with Park City to place additional signage in Lambs Canyon.
“We just appreciate our citizens’ willingness to give it a try and we encourage those who haven’t tried to try it at least once to see if it works for their trip purpose, especially during peak days,” she said. “We have Sundance coming up and that is a good opportunity to try it out as traffic is going to be pretty heavy.”
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.