Guest editorial: I hope Park City will take a second look at microtransit | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial: I hope Park City will take a second look at microtransit

Transportation company owner hopes city will reconsider microtransit

Sam Rubin, Park City

I am the owner of Four Seasons Concierge and Mountain Transportation Network, the second of which was one of three finalists for the recently cancelled Microtransit RFP.

I want to thank the City Council for saving the Community over $680,000 for a six-month pilot by not proceeding with the recommended vendor for the Microtransit RFP. Had the Selection Committee followed the recommendations made by City Council for the RFP, which included weighting their decisions toward a local company, working more closely with the local "For Hire" community, and actually contacting one of our references, I feel that my company, Mountain Transportation Network, would have been the recommended vendor and we would have been the one sitting at the table last week educating the public as to the benefits of microtransit, showing the public why an electric vehicle makes the most sense, and therefore why the Tesla Models are the safest vehicle for microtransit.

We would have not only unanimously won the City Council's vote but also that of the public, while, at the same time, saving the City $400,000 in cost — as our solution was $281,000, over $100,000 less than the initial proposal by Downtowner.

Now that there is no chance for a microtransit solution to be implemented this year, I would encourage the community to visit our website: http://www.mountaintransportationnetwork.com, to learn more about microtransit, the benefits, and the solution we proposed.

My company has been fully transparent and has posted every article, research, quote, proposal, and presentation we have prepared — without any redactions, for all to read. Since going live on the 4th of August, we have not received one negative email or comment on our Facebook Page. We HAVE received messages of support and changed the perception of many of those that sat in the audience at this week's City Council meeting. In fact, we already have members of the public that have downloaded our app from the Google Play Store (those that have an iPhone… our app is pending approval by Apple).

The solution we had proposed was a partnership between the leading on-demand software technology company called dashride, which has over 400 businesses using their software. The U.S. Open Tennis Tournament recently used dashride to provide transportation for the players, referees, executives, and volunteers. In another major city,  dashride manages a fleet of thousands of "for hire" vehicles. We had planned on fully integrating with Park City's MyStop app and offered to expand coverage and hours of operation above and beyond the RFP Service Areas.

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Our app would have worked in tandem with the local "For Hire" community, and would help to add value to the existing "For Hire" permitting process for the City.

With all of that said, it is what it is, but it is not all bad news. This past weekend, we performed a soft launch of our Mobile Application, which is one that works together with many of the local "for hire" companies to offer a "local service" for "locals" and "by locals." Our application has features that are currently not offered by the popular Transportation Network Companies such as booster seats, consistent pricing, prices that NEVER surge, the ability to "Favorite" or "Block" a Driver, and most importantly, assurance that the Driver of the Vehicle has a FBI/TSA background. In addition, a portion of each ride will be given back to a different local non-profit organization.

We hope the community embraces this "local" app and as a result it reduces the number of Uber and Lyft cars that circle around aimlessly and idle on Main Street. We hope that one day, the City will revisit the idea of microtransit, and when it does, we will be waiting with open arms and able to integrate into our application.