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Park City Study Shows Many Bus Shelters Inaccessible, Need Improvement

KPCW Radio

Park City Transit and the municipal transportation department has conducted an analysis of bus stops throughout the transit system.   

The nearly 50-page bus stop inventory and accessibility study analyzed 251 bus stops throughout Park City Transit’s service area. Surveyors noted different characteristics related to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, such as whether sidewalks connected bus stops to the nearest intersection and whether stops have paved boarding areas. They also noted the presence of other amenities, like shade and signage.

The study found 43% of stops didn’t have a paved boarding area; 43% had no nearby shade; and 33% had no accessible route from the nearest intersection.

Park City Manager Matt Dias says, after a period of expansion in the system, Park City Transit is looking to improve what it already has.

“We’ve been prioritizing converting our fleet from a diesel fleet to an electric fleet," Dias said. "We’ve been converting technology to use apps and different types of software, to make it more predictable for riders. Then, we’ve been expanding our services in the county, and unfortunately one by-product of that is sometimes quality of bus stops and other things.”

A 2018 report from the Utah Department of Transportation shows improving bus stops increases ridership, to the tune of 92%. Last year, the city council approved improvements to two high-traffic stops: the Fresh Market and Park Avenue Condos stops, across the street from each other. Those improvements are scheduled to happen this summer. Dias says the city wants to address the size of sidewalks and shelters there.

“I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that we see people forced to stand out in the elements, and particularly the sidewalk there is very, very narrow," Dias said. "So, our primary goal is public safety. We want to make sure that it’s safe, and then we want to make sure that the people who are choosing to ride the system are treated well.”

Going forward, the city will use the study to prioritize improvements at other bus stops. Along with safety and accessibility, Dias says bus stops will be updated with internet access, seating and other amenities.

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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