Park City’s Main Street Trolley Will Return This Summer, But Might Look Different in the Future
The iconic Main Street Trolley in Park City will return to service this summer after falling victim to the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Although the popular transportation option is back, the trolley might see some changes in the future.
Lots of things about Park City changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Main Street Trolley was one of them. Eliminated from service in 2020 due to drastic reduction in the use of public transit during the pandemic, city council explored options to bring the service back to Old Town this summer at Thursday’s meeting.
City staff conducted a community survey of residents and businesses in Old Town proposing two options: return to the same route previously used by the trolley, which serviced Main Street between 9th Street and Daly Avenue; or a shortened route that only covers the commercial areas of Main Street.
Survey responses were overwhelmingly in favor of returning the trolley to the same route that was in place pre-pandemic, with over 80% of respondents choosing that option.
The council also received a significant amount of complaints about the trolley idling in residential areas, and Mayor Andy Beerman told KPCW the trolley will now run continuously in order to address that issue.
“One of the changes council asked to be made is we’ve heard a lot of complaints about the trolley idling up at the top of the street in the residential district,” said Beerman. “That’s to keep on a schedule and we said, ‘we don’t want you to keep on a schedule, just flow steadily. Keep moving so we don’t have that idling.’”
Despite the clear preference of the community, council was a little resistant to fully adopt the old service route.
The idling complaints, a large vehicle constantly driving through neighborhoods, and noticeably few riders at certain points during the day spurred additional discussion. The council also entertained the idea of future service utilizing smaller electric trolleys, only running the big trolley during peak hours, altering the route to avoid residential areas, or some combination of those options.
Councilor Nann Worel said she was uncomfortable going against the will of the community, but would be in favor of collecting hard rider data to inform future decisions on what the Main Street Trolley could look like.
“We made an effort to reach out to people who find out what they thought and they told us what they thought and, now, I have a real problem with us sitting here and saying, ‘yeah, you told us what you wanted, but we’re going to do something else anyway,’” Worel said. “It wasn’t like it was a really close 49-51 kind of split here. Those residents spoke loud, so I like [Deputy City Manager Sarah Pearce’s] idea of really getting some data behind it besides just opinions.”
Ultimately, council settled on a hybrid approach bringing the trolley back on July 1st with service Wednesday-Saturday from noon-3pm. The trolley will run on Main Street between 9th Street and Daly Avenue, but will also take a detour on Swede Alley in order to drop passengers closer to the Old Town transit center and avoid traffic on Main Street.