Kimball Junction circulator takes off
Shoppers will be able to flag down a free ride
Friday, Summit County launched a circulator throughout the Kimball Junction area, a service that has been in demand for nearly 10 years, according to Caroline Rodriguez, the county’s regional transportation planning director.
Two vehicles will drive along a designated route in opposite loops between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. The vehicles will run approximately every 15 minutes.
Riders can flag down a vehicle anywhere along the route, which runs along Highland Drive near Jupiter Bowl and the Snyderville Basin Recreation Fieldhouse, and Landmark Drive by Tanger Outlets and the Kimball Junction Transit Center, among other locations. The vehicles can seat 11 passengers and are white in color, with Kimball Junction Circulator emblazoned on the side.
‘The purpose of this circulator is to move people throughout the Kimball Junction area to do their shopping and dining,” Rodriguez said. “They can either park once or use the bus to get to Kimball Junction and you won’t need your vehicle.”
While the county often partners with Park City Municipal on transportation-related initiatives, the county is funding the entire service through the new transportation sales taxes. Rodriguez said it is meant to be a “complementary service to Park City Transit.”
“We did it this way just because it was more cost effective and Park City Transit is so short on vehicles already,” she said. “There will be some crossover on drivers, but it is meant to operate as a bigger piece of our system. They are still our partners, fully support this idea and are behind us.”
A Kimball Junction circulator service is part of the county’s short-range transit plan, Rodriguez said. It was also identified as a need in a 2008 Kimball Junction connectivity study.
Chris Eggleton, general manager of Newpark Resort and former president of the Kimball Junction Business Alliance, said a circulator route has been on the business community’s radar since before Newpark was built.
“Back then we had a lot of development to get through to prove the notion that the Junction… would necessitate a circulator route to support a thriving business and community hub of the Snyderville Basin,” Eggleton wrote in an email to The Park Record. “I think that many people agree today that the Junction has become a viable and thriving district.
“I applaud the county, Park City Municipal and the Park City Chamber for facilitating the joint effort to pass the transit and transportation taxes which are funding the circulator,” the email read. “Much like the notions of the past, I think time will prove that the Junction is now a distinct destination to many resident and transient guests and the circulator helps facilitate that demand.”
The launch of the circulator is part of a series of transportation improvements that have been introduced over the summer, including the electric-bike program, electric-express route along State Road 224 and a Kamas commuter.
“This will be the final launch of the summer. We wanted to get things going pretty quickly to not only show our voters we are utilizing those tax initiatives, but to get these various modes out there so people can try them,” Rodriguez said. “It’s another piece of our overall transportation goals and I appreciate people giving them a try.”
Rodriguez said the community has been “very receptive” to the new services and she’s amazed at people’s willingness to get on board.
“The next big changes will come during the winter season, such as additional service from Kamas to serve the weekends or quicker times on other routes,” she said. “We are working on more changes to our transportation system.”
For more information about the transportation implemented in the county and Park City, go to http://www.letsgosummit.com/.
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