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Summit County’s High Valley Transit carries nearly half a million riders since January

High Valley Transit District microtransit vans
Evelyn Cervantes High Valley Transit District
/
High Valley Transit District
The High Valley Transit District's micro transit system shuttles 14,500 riders monthly, exceeding expectations.

Summit County celebrates its first year providing bus and micro transit services.

July 1 was the first anniversary of a fixed route bus service in Summit County. High Valley Transit provides high-frequency bus routes between Jeremy Ranch and Deer Valley, and a commuter route between Francis, Kamas, and the Old Town Transit Center in Park City. Shuttle loop routes run in Kimball Junction, the Bitner Ranch neighborhood, and Canyons Village.

Board of Trustees Chair Kim Carson said the fixed route bus service for the first half of 2022 exceeded expectations.

"The passengers per vehicle hour were 16.9. And that might not sound like a lot, but when you look at a rural service, that is a really high number." Carson said. “People say, ‘I don't see anybody on the bus.’ And there are times when there aren't folks that are on the bus, but you've got to look at it over the entire course of every day's hourly operations and various days of the week and times of the year."

High Valley's micro-transit program offers on-demand rides for those living in parts of the Snyderville Basin/Kimball Junction areas not covered by fixed bus routes. Carson said usage exceeded expectations with 86,500 micro-transit trips.

"They had predicted the monthly ridership would be just a little over 9,000, and the average ridership in 2022, year-to-date, is 14,500 per month. And then the utilization, that's how many rides there are per hour, has worked out to like 3.7, and they had forecasted at about 2.6," Carson said.

Since 2019, Carson said fixed transit routes are down 39 percent nationally, which could be due to fears about COVID-19 and a slow resumption of people willing to ride transit.

High Valley continued transit service throughout the slower spring and summer. Carson said High Valley Transit has no route changes planned for this coming winter.

"We try to maintain robust service year-round so we can maintain ridership." Carson said, "We found that as you decrease service in the off-season, you often end up losing riders because they feel it's not as dependable."

Carson said that after the resorts close, ridership decreases on most routes. But this year, the 102 line running from Francis, Kamas, and Park City stayed consistent. She says that means it’s year-round residents using the service for commuting, shopping, and medical appointments.

The High Valley Transit Board meets again in August when it will receive its first annual data report.

Find route information and transit maps here.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.