With crowd-drawing events such as Sundance and the World Championships coming up, city staff are contemplating how best to transport the increased number of guests who will be in town—in the event the current fleet can’t handle the demand. KPCW’s Emily Means has more.
In 2018, the Sundance Film Festival drew an estimated 125,000 visitors to Park City. In an effort to reduce individual car congestion and encourage public transit use during high-volume events, the city manager is asking for authorization to work with two outside charter transportation companies to supplement the city transit system and get people where they need to go. Assistant City Manager Matt Dias says other cities have similar arrangements and views it as a way to plan ahead.
“As things get more and more intense and busy around here, the eventuality that we have bus shortages or other things becomes more and more real. So we’re trying to make sure we’re planning ahead," Dias said. "We sort of stole this one from Tahoe, where they have this on-call bus service when they have special events and other things. Long term, it can reduce your need for permanent rolling stock when you’re able to augment for special events in times that the town gets very, very busy.”
The contract would cost up to $160,000 for no more than 1,000 hours per year, with money from the city transit fund footing the bill. The transit department would contact the transportation companies as the need arises, with the expectation they would be ready within five days of the request. If approved, the contractors could provide services by the start of this year’s Sundance Festival. Dias says it’s possible that some of those 1,000 hours allocated for the year could be used for that event.
“I think we’ll use some, we’re not sure—some of it will depend on inclement weather and other things—but we’ll probably try it out. That’s the intent. But really, this is a longer-term vision. We’ll probably have this contract in place for several years going forward.”
The proposal for outside charter service will be discussed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, 6 p.m. at the Marsac Building.