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Summit County Council Considers Transit Goals For Future

The Summit County Council met in a special meeting Tuesday morning to discuss their vision for county-wide transit. 

Summit County Regional Transportation Planning Director Caroline Rodriguez led the meeting. Rodriguez says the county is working with Park City Transit to frame the mission for the transit system and determine their goals for the future.

“I've never had a chance to sit with all of the council and identify what your vision is for transit and what it means to you in this community," Rodriguez said. "I think it's really important that we look from a really large view of what transit means to us, so we can then articulate that to Park City, so we can understand if we really are moving together towards the same goal or if there are divergent goals that need to be reconciled or what that looks like.”

Rodriguez posed questions to all five county councilmembers, as well as County Manager Tom Fisher; Deputy Manager Janna Young; Community Development Director Pat Putt; and others. First, Rodriguez asked about the role transit plays in the county. Putt says transit needs to be thought of as just one part of the community’s transportation solution.

“It needs to be viewed as a key part of a mobility web, because I think, for so many years, we siloed transit," Putt said. "We need to begin to think in terms that it is a piece of the web that helps in our community mobility. In and of itself, it's not going to solve our problem.”

Councilmembers and staff discussed who the transit system should serve, such as tourists, the workforce and transit-dependent populations. They also looked at the key destinations around the county that should be served by transit, including medical facilities, schools and resorts.

To summarize her thoughts and the council’s concerns from the discussion, Summit County Councilmember Kim Carson created an acronym—ACCESS—because of the opportunity accessibility represents.

“Within ACCESS I looked at it being accountable, convenient and comfortable, creating community, being equitable, safe and sustainable,” Carson said. 

Summit County and Park City are both involved in the Park City Transit system, but the county has expressed a desire to have a bigger role. The two entities recently experienced some miscommunication over the creation of a transit hub at the city’s upcoming arts and culture district. The city and county will meet Tuesday, Dec. 17 for their Joint Transit Advisory Board meeting.

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.
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