Park City Transit provides new bus to Kamas Valley
Pilot service launched on Monday provides three morning and evening runs
June 30, 2017
For more than a week, Amber Nelson says she has been bragging to anyone who will listen that she is now able to board a Park City Transit bus in the Kamas Valley to ride to work in Park City.
"I am really so excited about this for several reasons," Nelson said. "Mass transportation is so much more environmentally friendly than everyone driving on their own and the construction on State Road 248 is terrible. Plus, in general, it is a gas and car saver."
Nelson, who lives in Oakley, works at the Summit Land Conservancy and Recycle Utah. She has taken the bus twice since it launched on Monday.
"I plan on using it as much as I can," Nelson said. "I've been using the time on the bus to read and it has really been wonderful."
Park City Transit rolled out the Kamas Commuter service Monday. Three morning and evening runs are scheduled Monday through Friday between 6:17 a.m. and 6:08 p.m. The service picks Kamas Valley residents up at the Kamas park-and-ride lot adjacent to Volker's Bakery. Stops are at the Deer Mountain Affordable Community, Park City Hospital, Park City High School, Fresh Market and the Old Town transit center. At the Quinn's Junction stop, riders are able to take a smaller vehicle to connect to the Kimball Junction transit center.
"I do think this will be a widely used service especially come fall and winter," said Caroline Rodriguez, Summit County's transportation planning director. "It always takes time for people to adapt to transit, but I haven't had any negative feedback. I have actually had people requesting additional stops, and the more people we get to ride, the more justification we will have for adding more stops and expanding the service."
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The Kamas Commuter service is using the standard 33-passenger buses, with Wifi access. Rodriguez said the buses are stored at Park City Transit's facility on Iron Horse Drive. However, she said if the county purchases the park-and-ride lot that may provide the option to use an electric vehicle and place a charge on that parcel.
Over the next several months, Rodriguez said officials will be measuring the community's interest in the service to determine whether more stops and additional run times are needed.
"What we would really love to do by November is have an idea of whether we can add weekend service to serve skiers and resort workers, and an additional stop at Black Rock Ridge," Rodriguez said. "Wasatch County would have to be involved in those discussions, but, at this point, Wasatch County has said, 'Thank you' and 'Please serve our residents.'"
The launch of the Kamas Commuter also coincides with the county's pilot program Tap On, where any rider can request a card that allows them to track their ridership. Rodriguez said program participants will then be eligible for prizes and promotional incentives, and, eventually, cash-back rewards and employer-driven options.
"The launch of these diverse services speak directly to the county and city's commitment to providing various modes of transportation for our visitors," Rodriguez said. "If you don't want to drive alone in your car, you will have many options and that is the impetus for these rapid deployments of these services."
While Nelson said there were only a couple of riders utilizing the service when she first tried it out on Tuesday, she said there were several more on Thursday, including nearly a dozen kids.
"I kind of feel like everything is coming together at once and it is the perfect opportunity for me to use this service because I don't think I would have had the flexibility to take it in the past," Nelson said. "I'm just really excited that Park City is exploring the opportunity and seeing if it will work for us in the Kamas Valley."
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