The wheels on the Park City bus
While most families have memories of fireworks and barbecues on the Fourth of July, 3-year-old Marcus Bradshaw and his dad, Rod Bradshaw, think of buses. Park City buses to be exact.
This past Fourth of July, their family rode the bus to Park City’s Fourth of July parade. After that, Marcus was hooked. The pair has been riding the bus together every day since.
"We don’t go anywhere. We just ride the bus," Rod said. Every night, this father-son duo hops onto Route 7, less than a block from their house on North Silver Springs Road, gets off at the Redstone stop, and then hops right back on to a new bus and heads home.
"It’s great," Rod said. "It’s just 15 minutes that I get to spend alone with my son."
While Marcus has just started going to Park City Academy a couple days a week, he already knows what he wants to be when he grows up. "Marcus, what do you want to be when you grow up?" Rod asked.
"Big and strong," Marcus said.
"And what do you want to do for a job," Rod asked.
"Be a bus driver," Marcus shouted, a big grin attached to his face.
"I’ve got an application for him," Destry Pollard, the transit operations team leader, joked. Park City is always looking for more drivers as the winter season approaches.
"It doesn’t surprise me that people like Marcus get on the bus and ride every day," he said. "There are just people who love to ride, and they get to know a driver, and they’ll ride the bus to Kimball Junction just to have a conversation."
Marcus’ eager occupational dreams stem not just from his love of riding the bus, but from the friendliness of the bus drivers as well.
Going for a ride
When the bus approached, Marcus did his ‘bus dance’ (which basically consists of wiggling his legs and arms). He stepped onto the bus and was greeted by driver Uncle Harvey, or Harvey Hammack, as most folks call him.
The Route 7 bus drivers all know the Bradshaws, but Hammack is Marcus’ favorite driver. He high-fived Marcus as they walked on the bus, and then Hammack radioed ahead to make sure the bus at Redstone waited for them.
"He looks for me to pick him up," Hammack said. "I get a lot of regular customers, and I am starting to know them more and more." Hammack just joined Park City Transit as a driver about six months ago.
Marcus stood with his tiny hands clenched tight against the front seat railing as Rod supported him from behind. At every stoplight he yelled the color, "red," "yellow" and "green."
"What does the green light mean Marcus?" Rod said.
"Goooooooo … " he shouted as the bus sped off through the intersection.
Rod lifted Marcus up so he could pull the cord as they arrived at the Redstone stop. The next bus was waiting for them.
As the bus pulled back onto North Silver Springs Road, Marcus said goodbye to everyone.
At their stop, Marcus honked the horn, one, two, three times, before getting off. "The bus drivers’ let him honk the horn every day at the end of the ride," Rod said. "I’m sure the neighbors love that."
Children and Park City Transit
Pollard said they get a lot of kids riding the bus, from older kids riding to the skate park or riding home from school to grandchildren taking a trip with their grandparents.
"In general they behave pretty well," Pollard said. "I think for the most part, the kids realize that this is their bus system, so they want it to be nice."
Pollard said they do sometimes have problems with graffiti on buses and at bus stops, but that that’s the minority.
Park City Transit works with schools through outreach programs and field trips like taking trolleys over to schools.
"This year, we’re going to be doing some marketing for the schools to help stop kids from hanging around after school and get them home at a decent hour," Pollard said.
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The Park City Police Department since the middle of September has a responded to a series of complaints about parties, a type of call to the authorities that has been especially worrisome since the novel coronavirus started to spread.