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Park City Transit Brings On Former UTA CEO As Consultant

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Park City
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Former Utah Transit Authority CEO and President Jerry Benson has been brought on as a consultant for the Park City transit system. KPCW’s Emily Means has more.

Transportation Planning Manager Alfred Knotts introduced Benson at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Knotts said Benson will provide the city with “industry standard review” and will advise on items such as customer service and community involvement.

Benson’s tenure at UTA ended in 2018, after the state legislature passed a law restructuring the agency, resulting in the elimination of Benson’s position as president and CEO. Benson left with nine months of severance pay, amounting to more than $205,000.

After 34 years at UTA, Benson says he’s looking forward to working with the Park City transit team, the council and the executive staff.

“I’ve always envied Park City Transit, I’ll share that with you, because you’ve been able to innovate and do things often much more quickly than we could down the valley," Benson said. "I’m happy to be here to really help the city and Park City Transit get to the next level, in terms of customer experience, performance of the system and just effectiveness of the operation.”

Councilmember Lynn Ware Peek says she’s excited to have fresh eyes reviewing the City’s transit system.

“We just felt like we needed an outside look at it, an outside perspective, and we’re really happy to have him," Ware Peek said. "Boy, he’s great. I sat down with him for about 30 minutes on Tuesday and went through everything. He’s very, very informed and knowledgeable about Park City Transit and has been for a long time because he’s just worked in the transportation planning and transit realm for a long time, so we’re happy to have him.”

Knotts said at the council meeting that Benson would be working with the city for a few weeks. No specific details have been given about Benson’s contract with the city.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.