The Snyderville Basin Transit District Board held its first meeting on Feb. 18. Board member Joe Spink says they’re working towards a deadline, in four and a half months, to transition to being an independent district.
The county’s transit district will be splitting off from Park City Transit to become its own entity by July 1.
The new board includes three Summit County Councilors—Roger Armstrong, Doug Clyde and Chris Robinson. The two at-large members are Spink and former Councilor Kim Carson.
Spink said this is his first position in the public eye. He and his family moved here from Alaska in 2013.
“I am a civil engineer from the University of Washington,” he said. “And my career history is that I am involved in infrastructure and transportation construction engineering projects. Earlier in my career, I was involved with initial build-out of the Sound Transit System in the Seattle area. The company that I was with built bus stations and bus lanes and HOV lanes along the I-5 corridor. I have three kids. The last one’s a senior at Park City High School. And for fun, I ski and I bike—gravel, mountain and fat bike.”
He said that, personally, he doesn’t commute on the bus every day, but does use it regularly for recreation.
“I started riding a bus two years ago, when I was stuck in traffic, driving by myself, to go skiing,” he said. “And I was watching these buses rip down the shoulder. I figured there’s gotta be a better way. And then Ecker Hill was built. And that facility’s just fantastic. It’s easy to get to. It’s easy to get in and out of. And so I started riding the bus. So I either take Six or Ten when I go to the ski areas. My wife saw how easy it was, and my wife is a seasonal employee at the mountain. So she takes Six in and out every day. And when my daughter, who’s a student at the U., drives up to go skiing, she parks at Ecker, and she takes one of the buses in.”
He said that he thinks local transit is convenient and reliable, with zero stress.
At the board’s first session Carson was appointed chair and Spink vice chair. They set a meeting schedule—the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, at 1 p.m.
They also chose a name for the system subject to public input: “High Valley Transit.” Spink said the staff drew up about 30 names and narrowed down the options—in several cases, to avoid conflicts with other domain names or businesses.
He said he thinks “High Valley” is a great name—though it may not be used for all their activities.
“We can brand differently,” he said. “So we might be able to say, hey, if you want to take the bus that goes from Kimball to Park City Mountain Resort, take the Mountaineer.”
Spink said they want a smooth transition this summer for customers. And the board asked the staff to set up a timeline for their goals.
“Staff put together a very substantial list of administrative, legal and operational tasks,” he said. “It’s a long list. And so I asked—we asked—staff to basically pull that list apart and almost create like a game chart, where we can say, okay, where are you at with the RFP for this, or where are we at with the negotiations with this other company? Where are we at with grant requests? Where are we at with the licensing and some of the legal issues that we have.”