Guest editorial: Hop on a Park City bus during Try Transit Week
December 18, 2018
Here's a big shout out to all of us to get on a bus and "Try Transit" while the campaign is up and running this week through Saturday, Dec. 22.
During this time, elected officials will be riding on our buses — probably getting better at it themselves — and letting you know how happy they are that you're riding one too. They'll have prizes to give away at random, which will make us pretty happy, too — especially if we get ahold of a free day ski pass at Park City Mountain or Deer Valley Resort. The coffee shop and restaurant coupons sound pretty good to pick up, too. Or maybe you'll get lucky and draw a free PC MARC pass you can put to use to help you meet your New Year's resolution.
As always I will be riding; I want to get at least one prize. Lately, I've been focusing on riding new routes instead of taking my regular Kimball Junction inbound/outbound trip. I am finding out there can be many challenges to riding effectively throughout the community when you are not familiar with the routes and street names. It was frustrating to ride through Prospector last week in order to get to the Park Silly Holiday Bazaar at the Marriott. It seems there are flag stops "everywhere" but they are unannounced and many are marked only by small, fairly indistinguishable signs noting scheduled stop times. Buses do not stop at flag stops unless someone is waiting there or they are requested by a rider on the bus. Since I'm not familiar with the streets throughout Prospector, I have no idea what the addresses are of all these "get on and off" stops. I do know the stops we did make took seconds. There are many businesses, trailheads and homes of friends located reasonably near flag stops. Finding them on the My Stop App is difficult; there is no map. Residents and visitors need to know more about flag stops so they can plan their travel effectively. Marking all stops, both announced and flags, with the same colored light would do much to guide riders to them. Having a light marker at bus stops is especially necessary when it's dark.
A big shout out to our community businesses and organizations that are supporting Try Transit week through their donations for rider prizes. Many of them have been showing transit support for a long time in their radio and newspaper ads, by including a reminder to ride the bus to their shop or event.
Try Transit Week is a great time to take a seat on one of our amazing buses. It's inversion season in the Salt Lake Valley — I saw it hanging around near the top of Parleys Pass a few days ago. Freaked me out. There are gas- and diesel-powered vehicles everywhere; leave yours at home every once in awhile. Know there is a lot of help available to you as you learn the transit system. The bus drivers will be happy to answer your questions; so will community officials. Call the transit department. Use the My Stop App. Ask other riders. Ask your kids. Read the signs. When you get good at it, I can attest to it being a "feels good experience" in more ways than one.
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