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Park City Council to review preliminary winter transit plan

PCtransitwinter.jpg
Park City Municipal Corporation
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The city's transportation department is proposing to increase the frequency of the Yellow, Red, Green, and Blue bus routes to every 20 minutes during the winter.

The Park City Council is set to take its first swing at the city’s winter transportation plan Thursday.

Utah resorts set a record last year with 5.8 million skier visits, which was a 10% increase compared to the previous season. The historic year also led to heavy traffic in Park City, and the city council has set aside extra funds for potential solutions.

At its Thursday meeting, the city council will discuss several changes to last year’s system that the transportation department has recommended. Under the proposed plan, the Richardson Flat park-and-ride will be served by two new bus routes.

Both routes would make stops at Park City Heights, Park City High School, and the Old Town Transit Center. The routes differ in that one would exclusively serve Park City Mountain and the other Deer Valley.

The department also wants to increase pick-ups on the Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow routes from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes.

Additionally, Park City Transit is presenting to the council a microtransit pilot program this winter in partnership with High Valley Transit. Microtransit is an on-demand transit service accessed through an app or by phone, similar to Uber and Lyft, but free of charge.

Proposed service areas include Upper Park Meadows, Thaynes Canyon north of Thaynes Canyon Dr., Quinn’s Junction, and Royal Street. The service would replace the Bronze route that ran through Royal Street last winter.

Park City Mountain Senior Communications Manager Sara Huey said that paid parking at the Mountain Village base is currently not confirmed. She said the resort’s parking plan is still a work in progress.

With that ball in the air, Park City Transportation Director Matt Neeley told KPCW the department is focusing on what the city can control.

“And so for us, we’ve just been making a plan in terms of how we want to operate the city’s infrastructure," Neeley said. "And so what we’re doing is we’re looking at adding in data stations to help us manage the infrastructure. So that way we can see what’s happening in real time and we can make changes quickly.”

In other agenda items, the council will discuss incentivizing residents to cut back on landscaping.

Park City Public Utilities Director Clint McAffee said that would involve a “cash for grass” program.

“So anyone with turf, you know grass, on their property might be able to get a rebate in the form of money, for converting that grass into more drought-tolerant landscaping,” McAffee said.

Everything on the agenda is only up for discussion, not a final vote.

The meeting at council chambers is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. A link to attend virtually and the agenda can be found here.

Parker Malatesta covers Park City for KPCW. Before coming to NPR, he spent one year as a general assignment reporter for TownLift in Park City. He previously was the news editor at The News Record, the student paper at the University of Cincinnati. He loves running, reading, and urban planning.