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Park City opens new bus lane to skip traffic on state Route 248

The S.R. 248 transit shoulder lane was constructed this summer.
Parker Malatesta
The new S.R. 248 transit shoulder lane was constructed this summer.

Park City buses can now bypass traffic heading into town on state Route 248.

The construction on state Route 248 this summer is now paying off with a brand new eastbound bus lane that allows public transit to bypass traffic during peak times.

That access is key as Park City works to encourage more day skiers, workers, and visitors to park outside town and take buses into the city core.

S.R. 248 is one of two entryways into Park City proper. According to data compiled by the city, the road carries roughly 17,000 vehicles per day with peak loads of 2,000 per hour. Population in the area is growing at an average annual rate of about 7%, and associated traffic is forecasted to follow a similar growth pattern.

The new bypass lane starts at the intersection with Richardson Flat Road and ends at Wyatt Earp Way, near the Park City School District administrative office.

The ability to bypass traffic will directly benefit the bus lines servicing the Richardson Flat lot, which offers hundreds of parking spaces near U.S. 40.

Robin Banks has been driving for Park City Transit for about a year. She said the new shoulder lane will help keep buses safe during harsh winter conditions.

“It’s awesome,” Banks said. “Because the traffic is so backed up with the skiers and it’s backed up for miles all the way to the freeway. So it gives us access to move around and get to stay on time, so we can stay on our time points.”

During an opening ceremony for the new bus lane Wednesday, Park City Mayor Nann Worel thanked the Utah Department of Transportation for support and praised the project for on-time completion. S.R. 248 is owned and operated by UDOT.

This winter, the city is running two new bus routes, the 7 Grey and 8 Brown.

The 7 Grey bus goes from Richardson Flat to Park City Mountain Village, stopping at Park City Heights and the high school. The 8 Brown will run to the Deer Valley Snow Park base, with stops at the Old Town Transit Center, Iron Horse Drive, and Park City Heights.

Those two buses will run from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. A common criticism of the Richardson Flat bus service last year was the lack of direct service to the ski resorts.

The 6 Silver bus will take over in the evenings from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., connecting Richardson Flat to Main Street.

Winter bus service ends in April.