Transportation officials planning route between Kamas Valley and Park City
About 300 responded to county’s commuter survey in March
Caroline Rodriguez, Summit County’s transportation planning director, is preparing to go before Kamas City leaders this month to discuss extending Park City Transit service into the Kamas Valley as part of a pilot program.
Last week, transportation officials received the results of a non-scientific survey targeting Kamas Valley residents and those who live along State Road 248. The survey asked respondents to answer multiple-choice questions about commuting to work, work hours and destinations.
“I am going to the Kamas City Planning Commission and City Council to talk about a park-and-ride lot that has been donated to us so we can have somewhere for people to park,” Rodriguez said. “If we don’t have that centralized area for parking, we don’t have a good way to serve those riders.”
A vacant area located in the Village at Kamas Commons apartment complex near Volker’s Bakery has been donated to the county as a temporary location, Rodriguez said. She added, “The intent would be to later purchase the property.”
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.
On Monday, the Utah Department of Transportation began a major construction project for State Road 248 this summer between Quinn’s Junction and Kamas. As a way to help commuters, Rodriguez said the service will likely begin in June.
Rodriguez said the information from the survey will be used to determine the best location for a park-and-ride lot in Kamas, in addition to identifying stops along State Road 248. About 500 surveys were completed, however, 300 respondents were eligible and lived in the Kamas Valley or along S.R. 248.
According to the survey results, 85 percent of respondents work general office hours Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Destinations include Kimball Junction, Deer Valley, Prospector/Bonanza area, Old Town and Quinn’s Junction.
“The next step is looking at the survey data and seeing where people are going and how do we serve those destinations that people are trying to get to efficiently,” Rodriguez said. “Most of the riders are going into town and Kimball Junction, not surprisingly. But we have to look at how we structure the route so that we can operate every 30 minutes or hour.”
Rodriguez said they have not determined how many buses will be needed or the routes. She said it will depend on the destinations and where people will be willing to connect, if at all. However, she sounded confident Kamas Valley commuters would take advantage of the service.
“People may be a little bit slow in adopting it because it is really a change of pattern for people,” Rodriguez said. “If we can get them on and to try it a few times, I think they will ride it. But there is a lot to do still. We are lucky that Park City Transit is pretty flexible and this is a service that they want to provide as well. We want to work with them in getting this done and getting the service going.”
Kamas City Council member Kevan Todd said the council has not yet discussed the commuter link. However, he added, “Why wouldn’t we be on board?”
“I think it would be a great service and I would hope that people would use it because I drive to Park City nearly every day from Kamas and there are a lot of people that commute that way,” Todd said. “I’m only one voice on the council, but I would be all for it. I think it sounds like a great solution to an ongoing problem.”
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A gas leak forced the evacuation of North Summit High School and North Summit Middle School Monday afternoon in Coalville. No injuries were reported.