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New Park City transportation head talks car culture

Tim Sanderson, Park City Municipal's new transportation director.
Tanzi Propst/Tanzi Propst/ iZnat Images Photography
Tanzi Propst/Park City Municipal
Tim Sanderson, Park City Municipal's new transportation director.

The quest to solve Park City’s traffic issues and the management of local bus routes are now the responsibilities of Tim Sanderson. Learn more about Park City’s new transportation director.

Tim Sanderson started his new role overseeing Park City’s transportation operations just a few weeks ago. While he’s new to the Wasatch Back, Sanderson has decades of experience with transit agencies.

“I’ve been in transportation for well over 30 years,” Sanderson said. “I started as a transit operator up in Winnipeg, Canada, and just progressively worked my way through a number of different transit systems and different positions. I’ve worked in Nashville, Des Moines, Iowa… and most recently, I was the general manager of the transit system in Lethbridge, Alberta, which is a city of about 120,000 to 150,000 up in Canada.”

Sanderson said Park City’s unique challenges and engaged citizenry drove him to apply for the job.

He said Canadians are more open to active and public transportation compared to American car culture.

“A little bit of that has to do because the gas prices are two to three times as much as they are down here, but it’s just also a cultural thing, the way the cities were designed,” Sanderson said.

While working in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan campus, Sanderson said he’s had success tapping into the desire for a car-free world.

“What I found is that, given other alternatives, especially the younger generation, they’ll glom onto public transportation or walking or scooters or any kind of alternative things,” he said. “The allure of a personal automobile just isn’t there with them.”

Along with improving bus service, Sanderson said the city has to find a mode other than roads to invest in, whether that’s trails, gondolas or trains.