Park City Transit set to launch new express route along State Road 224 | ParkRecord.com

Park City Transit set to launch new express route along State Road 224

Buses will run every 10 minutes between Kimball Junction Transit Center and Old Town

Park City Transit launched on Friday a new express route along the State Road 224 corridor, with buses running every 10 minutes between the Kimball Junction transit center and Old Town.

The first official run departed the Kimball Junction transit center at around 1 p.m. on Friday. Buses are scheduled to run every 10 minutes between 7 a.m. and midnight, seven days a week. Stops are at Canyons transit center at Park City Mountain Resort, Fresh Market on Park Avenue and the Old Town transit center.

Park City and Summit County leaders held a ribbon-cutting event on Friday to mark the launch of the Electric Xpress at the Kimball Junction transit center. Rep. Tim Quinn, who statehouse district includes Park City, also attended.

"This is the Tesla of the bus," Blake Fonnesbeck, City Hall's public works director, said at the event. "Get out of your car and ride this."

Park City Transit offered demonstration rides to those in attendence before officially launching the line.

"What's great about this new fleet is that it is all electric and purely battery operated. Plus, we are the first mountain community to have a fully electrified express route," Caroline Rodriguez, Summit County's transportation planning director, said in an interview beforehand.

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Rodriguez said the new all-electric fleet embodies the county and city's commitments to energy efficiency and sustainability, while providing more options for riders.

"So often we hear, 'I'd ride the bus, but it takes me 30 minutes to get into town,'" Rodriguez said. "Now we will have more service, more times throughout the day, a longer span of service and a quicker trip because the bus has the option to run in the shoulder when need be."

City Hall was awarded a $3.9 million grant in July 2016 by the Federal Transit Administration to purchase the six buses. Rodriguez said other recipients of similar grants are having more difficulty getting their fleets running. She said Park City Transit's success is indicative of the partnership between City Hall and the county.

"This is our first rapid-bus transit and it is a really quick, efficient and affordable way to move," Rodriguez said. "This is one piece, albeit a major piece, of a lot of changes people will start to see coming, including the launch of the electric bike-share program and the Kimball Junction circulator. People will start to see a lot of changes around transit and alternative modes of transportation and we want to offer all these different options and modes to those who are starting to think differently as we move through the community."

Destry Pollard, City Hall's operations team leader for Park City Transit, echoed Rodriguez's statements.

"This is, again, a step in the direction to meet council and county goals with lowering emissions," Pollard said. "It is certainly helping us having additional service along the S.R. 224 and 248 corridors."

The low-emission buses will get 21.4 miles per gallon, with operating costs projected to be 19 cents per mile, according to a press release.

"We are still a long ways away from being where we want to be because there is still work that has to be done in the county to make these new services all come together," Pollard said. "But, this is a first step in that direction and we are pretty excited about all of that."