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Local News

Summit County Council Member Voices Frustration During Transit Summit

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During Wednesday’s Transit Summit between Park City and Summit County, county officials often talked about the long-range future of regional transit.

But one County Council member said there’s also some frustration currently with the Interlocal Agreement,  where the county contracts to receive services from the city.

During the transit discussion, Park City Council Member Tim Henney said the Interlocal Agreement isn’t especially bothersome to the city.    County officials said that’s because the city controls the contract.

Henney said if it’s an irritant to county officials, he’d like to hear specifically why.

In reply, County Council Member Roger Armstrong said that after five years on the Joint Transportation Advisory Board (JTAB) he stepped off in some frustration.   He summarized his experience.       

“Suggestion after suggestion after suggestion about routing, making them more efficient, figuring out ways so we’re not running empty buses, figuring out ways so that we can decrease the frequency of headways.    A promise that once we got this White Line going, it would be 10-minute headways.    A promise that we communicated to the community—only to find out, when?—six months ago, eight months ago?—it was running on 20-minute headways, after advertising that it was gonna to run on 10.  We need those 10-minute headways to connect this part of the Basin on a more frequent basis so that we can get people in and out.”

Armstrong noted on Wednesday that a resident in the audience had complained to them last year.   The man lives at Kimball Junction and commutes to Deer Valley, lugging 60 pounds of ski gear.       

“And we don’t have a means of getting him in and out efficiently.  We don’t have a route—we don’t control the routes.  The Brown Route was arbitrarily changed.  We were told that we would have a connection from Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook to the White Line very quickly.    And then it took Doug Clyde calling me to tell me that no, that wasn’t gonna work.   It was really going to be the Pink Route.   And when I went in and said, “That’s not what we agreed to”—Tim asked about what the frustration is.   That’s the frustration”

He said they’re trying to efficiently transport people to activities that have been generated by Park City.      

“Whether they’re events, whether it’s major employers that people are getting in and out of, because they can’t afford to live in Park City, so they live in other parts of the Basin, and commute in.   So we’re providing your workforce, just like other surrounding communities do.  And we’re trying to figure out a way—that’s to everybody’s benefit.    But when routing is made as a unilateral choice, under this fee-for-service structure that we currently have, that’s frustrating.   Because we can look at it and say, “This is not the most efficient that it can be.”

Summit County Council Member Roger Armstrong.   He added, though, that there have been recent improvements in the city’s transit system and staffing.

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