The transit study to look at a possible bus line inside and connecting outside Wasatch County is underway. The study is starting with an online survey for residents to fill out.
Earlier this year seven local government agencies including Wasatch County, Midway, Heber, Park City and the Utah Transit Authority agreed to enter into a study to look at public transit needs in Wasatch County. The Mountainland Association of Governments is the study manager. They’ve contracted with a team of consultants to conduct the study.
A.T. Stoddard, a Senior Advisor with LSC Transportation Consultants says that the community questionnaire, which opened the last week of August, is meant to serve as an initial opportunity for input for the study.
“It's really part of a much larger study where we are looking at public transportation needs and feasibility of providing service in Wasatch County,” Stoddard explained. “The county has grown, and people are aging in place with overpopulation needs for transportation services increase and just a number of people commuting out of the County. So, the survey is an initial opportunity for people to give us some input as to what they see the needs are and things we ought to be looking at.”
The 27-question survey asks about transportation needs of the community inside Wasatch County for things such as medical appointments and grocery shopping. It also asks about needs for transit outside the county for work, education and other needs.
“We've broken questions out related to both those types of needs and then asked some questions about the demographics of people replying,” Stoddard said. “Whether they have cars available and that helps us really quantitatively assess the need. We’ve also got an opportunity just open-ended questions where they can tell us the kinds of things we ought to be looking at that maybe aren't addressed specifically in the questions.”
The questionnaire can be taken online at the project’s website ConnectingWasatch.info. Additionally, those not wanting to fill out the survey online can print off a copy. Stoddard says that they have not received a request to make the survey available in Spanish, but he says they could if they’re given an indication that it’s a need. The survey, which is slated to close Wednesday September 25th, is just one part of the overall study. Stoddard overviews other factors they’ll consider.
“We’ll be looking at demographics of the population, and travel patterns, commute patterns,” Stoddard continued. “We will also be interviewing some of the key people in the community for example health services, government services. Then combining it; our quantitative estimate based on travel patterns and community demographics throughout the county. We’ll identify what the needs are and then start looking at a vision for what service might be appropriate. From there we’ll analyze several different options including how well they meet the needs, what it would cost to implement, and then some performance measures to be able to compare some of those. Then provide a recommendation for the County and the other participants in the study as to not only what is needed but what's appropriate for service.”
Stoddard adds that the questionnaire gives residents an opportunity to provide their email address.
“That's certainly an option where they can get on our list and be notified of new information as we develop it and additional opportunities to participate,” Stoddard explained. “Because as we start to put the plan together and look at those options were going to give people opportunities to comment on it.”
He added email addresses will only be used for communication relating to the project. You can find a link to the questionnaire here.