Summit County’s new High Valley bus lines have launched
Predawn rollout a milestone in split from Park City Transit
Black and blue buses left the Jeremy Ranch park-and-ride in the predawn hours Thursday morning, a rollout that was years in the making and represents a milestone in Summit County’s split from Park City Transit.
The High Valley Transit District, a fledgling independent entity started by Summit County, launched its “fixed-route” service July 1, full-size buses that now complement the minivan-served “microtransit” that began last month.
The backbone of the system is a route from the Jeremy Ranch park-and-ride lot to Deer Valley Resort that is planned to run every 15 minutes from 5:45 a.m. to 11:35 p.m, seven days per week.
The district’s interim general manager, Caroline Rodriguez, said the first bus operator arrived at 4:30 a.m. Thursday. That afternoon, Rodriguez said the buses had been running on time.
“I am almost afraid to say that it’s been going extremely well,” she said.
The High Valley Transit District is envisioned to provide transit service to the greater Wasatch Back, with officials hoping to grow the system into Wasatch County and possibly beyond. It currently serves the Snyderville Basin and has one route that goes to South Summit, with stops in Kamas and Francis.
The district’s microtransit service is a fleet of minivans that operates as an on-demand ride-hailing service in the Basin that can take riders to their destination or to a bus stop to connect to the larger transit system.
Both fixed-route buses and microtransit services are free and accessed through the High Valley Transit app or by calling 435-246-1538. The app can also direct passengers to their destination using existing Park City Transit routes.
Officials hope the transition will be seamless for riders. High Valley hired an international transit contractor to help launch the district, which in turn hired a subcontractor to run the fixed-route service.
Some riders, especially those who live in the Silver Springs neighborhood, which lost direct bus service with the dissolution of the 7 Pink line, have objected to the district’s changes. That area is now served by microtransit and officials say it will result in more frequent service.
Park City Transit has been the regional transit provider for years, including serving Summit County destinations. It will, after Thursday’s split, continue to operate the 10 White Electric Xpress route to Kimball Junction.
Summit County has paid increasing amounts of money into Park City Transit over the years but lacked direct control over its routes and the direction of its growth. The split between the two entities was driven by the county’s desire to expand service in the Basin and region while Park City officials said the Park City Transit system did not have the capacity to grow and should concentrate on serving the city.
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The Summit County Fair returns this week.