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Local News

High Valley Transit Board Loses Its Vice-Chairman; Joe Spink Resigns

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High Valley Transit
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The members of the High Valley Transit District Board this week regretfully said goodbye to one of their colleagues.     The vice-chairman of the Board, Joe Spink, has announced his resignation.

As one of his last duties, Spink talked to KPCW recently about the District’s achievements and its challenges. 

Spink, who was appointed to the High Valley Board last January, is a civil engineer who has helped design transit systems around the country.    He is resigning because he is moving out of the District.

During a meeting Monday of the High Valley Board, chairwoman Kim Carson said his resignation was very sad news for her.    

Other Board Members who thanked Spink for his service included Doug Clyde.    

“I’ve been dramatically impressed with your interest and your energy in getting involved.   We will miss you but you will be a great member of whatever community you’re moving to, so thank you.”

Spink was the only Board Member who isn’t a current or former County Council Member.     Roger Armstrong said Spink was impressive during his tenure.       

“It’s been fun to watch you progress.   Because when you first got on, you were the quiet guy in the room, and we didn’t hear a lot from you.    And then as you got more confident, you started to engage more and started to re-assert yourself more.  And you’ve got so many great attributes.”

On July 16th,  Spink talked to KPCW about the ridership numbers the District has shown in just a few weeks.     He said that, up to July 9th, the micro-transit service has carried over 10,300 passengers, and 4000 people set up accounts with the district.    During the Fourth of July weekend, they carried over 400 people a day.

He also said that the micro transit service has shown it’s efficient, though it has attracted some complaints.     

“Some people are always resistant to change and hesitant to try new things, right?  I think that our data indicates that our service is working.   And you’re always gonna have some outliers, and that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect.  But it looks like from the numbers we’re getting that the average wait time is about 8.9 minutes, so about 9 minutes from when you request service.   The average walking distance that we’re seeing is 81 feet.”

Some patrons have also said that when they tried to page for a ride on their apps, they got a notice that no cars were available.     Spink said they are working on that.      

“We have some challenges around communication.  And we are re-writing some of the code within the app to provide more detailed air messages than just that.”

Spink said after studying the data so far, they’ve made an adjustment that customers should like.     

“One of the things that we started initially was that we would pick up people at street corners or at nearby intersections.   One of the things that we learned through the data, especially in the rural communities like upper Pinebrook or upper Summit Park, is that there is no loss of efficiency if we pick up people at their residence.  And so that is an adjustment that we made based on feedback and based on the data.”

He said they will also work to get out the message that the micro transit doesn’t pick up or drop off in Park City.

Concerning the fixed bus routes, Spink said they need to study those for another month or two months to see what should be adjusted.

And about the bus line to Kamas, Spink said he’s heard they get 8 to 10 passengers in the morning, but he thinks that will expand.

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