Park City Transit will roll into Kamas this summer
Planning underway for a route between the Kamas Valley and Park City
March 10, 2017
Park City Transit service will be extended to the Kamas Valley as part of a pilot program this summer before officials decide whether to make it a permanent route.
For more than 10 years, transportation officials have discussed a commuter route between the Kamas Valley and Park City. As part of Summit County's transportation tax campaign last fall, officials promised to begin planning it.
Since the Utah Department of Transportation has planned a significant construction project for State Road 248 this summer, Caroline Rodriguez, Summit County's transportation planning director, said it is a "good time to try out that bus route."
"This will be for the residents of the Kamas Valley and those who live along 248 going into Park City," Rodriguez said. "We know a significant number of people that live out there are commuting here for work."
A survey targeting Kamas residents who would consider taking the bus has been posted on the county website's homepage since earlier this week. It asks respondents to answer multiple-choice questions about commuting to work, work hours and destinations, among others.
As of Wednesday, more than 150 people had responded, according to Rodriguez, who added the survey will be posted for nearly three weeks.
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"I just think it is really important for people, even if they think they are not interested in riding, to let us do the best we can to plan the route so if you can ride, it will fit your needs," Rodriguez said.
Summit County and Park City transportation officials are currently working with Kamas City and Wasatch County to identify stops along State Road 248. Stops may include a park-and-ride lot in Kamas and Todd Hollow Apartments.
Destry Pollard, operations team leader for Park City Transit, said the service will is scheduled to start in June. He said two commuter buses will run in the mornings and evenings.
"We haven't worked out the details yet, but it will come along State Road 248 and we will either bring it around to the Kimball Transit Center or into Park City, depending on where people want to go," Pollard said.
Pollard said they are considering using drivers that live in South Summit. He said they could drive the buses into Park City in the morning and park them overnight somewhere in the valley.
"As it grows and if it takes off and we see some good ridership, down the line we will purchase buses specifically for that route and make it more than a commuter," Pollard said. "It is also a small step toward a Wasatch service. I think we would get some ridership out of that, if we can get through the traffic jams. That's the other nut we have to crack."
The service will be limited over the summer, Pollard said. But, he added, "It is a step in the right direction."
"We thought we would do it as a pilot and see what the buzz is," Pollard said. "We will try it for the whole summer. The plan was part of our five-year transit plan and it wasn't supposed to come on until 2018, but because of this road construction we are starting to speed it up.
"It may not go away at all," he said. "People want to see something soon and we are just going to start chomping away at this."
To take the survey, go to the county website's homepage at http://summitcounty.org/.
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