Park City-Heber City bus route would be a Christmas gift
The next stop for a bus line is Heber City.
A private-sector transportation company recently launched a route connecting Park City and the Wasatch County community where scores of people who are part of the Park City work force live. The route ran for just two days before suspending service, but the owner of the Green Star Express intends to restart the buses soon, probably in the coming week.
The route could be an extraordinary opportunity for commuters who live in Heber City and work in Park City. And it could also offer important lessons for government officials if they someday pursue a public bus line from Park City to Heber City, an idea that has long been of intrigue to leaders in places like Park City, Summit County, Heber City and Wasatch County.
Green Star Express is a startup that operates a school bus on the route between Park City and Heber City. It is certainly too early to assess the success of the route, but we praise the firm for taking the risk to determine whether there will be enough riders to warrant the Heber City-to-Park City line.
It could be years before the government entities that would be involved in a bus line negotiate the necessary agreements, secure the vehicles required for such a route and then start rolling the buses along S.R. 248 and U.S. 40.
Green Star Express, as a privately held company, though, could simply decide there seems to be demand and then start the route, hoping there are enough riders. If there are, the numbers will pencil out for the company and the route will continue. If not, Green Star Express would likely scrap the service. That ability illustrates an advantage of the private sector over the public sector.
It is encouraging that Park City (the mountain resort) owner Vail Resorts has apparently shown some interest. If an employer that large eventually buys seats on the bus for its workers, other businesses may follow that lead. The prices of $3 for a one-way trip or a punch pass that offers a slight discount are reasonable for people who work at Park City businesses of any size, or their employers if they are willing to subsidize the trips.
Managing traffic along the S.R. 248 entryway has been challenging, regularly resulting in some of the worst backups in the Park City area. The Green Star Express will certainly not cut traffic by a measurable amount, but the company’s attempt to assist with the situation is worthy of praise.
It would be a nice gift for the community if the Green Star Express is able to restart service by the Christmas rush.
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The Olympics would be a great opportunity for Summit County to tap into federal dollars for the benefit of infrastructure improvements, but it’s unclear if the county will have any influence on the bid committee.