New bus route between Heber Valley, Park City begins Nov. 13
The new transit route between the Heber Valley and Park City is set to start November 13.
Both High Valley Transit and the Heber Valley Chamber are gearing up for the new service.
High Valley Transit and Wasatch County have entered into a $3 million agreement to provide a bus route between Summit and Wasatch counties and microtransit within the Heber Valley for the next three years. The money comes from a sales tax the Wasatch County Council approved in June.
Heber Valley Chamber Bureau Executive Director Dallin Koecher said the chamber is committing a lot of effort to get the word out.
“We are going to be very, very, very interested in making sure this is a well-used system not only for our residents here to get around up to and from Park City but also around the valley,” Koecher said. “And so we're going to do our best to maximize the notification of what's going on about this transit because we want people to use it, right?”
Vice Chairman of High Valley Transit David Geffen said the new route will start at the Heber Valley Hospital and end at the Park City Fresh Market on Park Ave.
“In the morning, there'll be five inbound buses starting at 6 a.m. from Wasatch into Park City,” Geffen said. “They'll be terminating at the Fresh Market where people can make easy connections either back into Park City or down towards Kimball Junction. There'll be three outbound runs in the mornings as well. And in the evenings, it's sort of similar. We have five outbound runs from Park City to Wasatch and three inbound runs. We're trying to get the schedule up on our high Valley Transit website in the next week or so.”
J1 visa workers are headed to Park City and many are having a difficult time finding housing locally, so they’re looking to the Heber Valley instead. While the new bus service serves those who work a day job, it doesn’t help those in the hospitality business who work later than the last bus leaving Park City.
Geffen though said he believes the schedule will work for most.
“The last bus out from Park City will be leaving at eight o'clock at night, which we think, you know, should hit most of the demands,” Geffen said. “Of course, if people are working much later than that, you know, that's a different challenge. But there'll be buses out at 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 p.m. in the afternoon. And we're hoping that it'll get 90 percent of the volume of folks who want to make that route.”
Koecher said given the needs of commuters, that could change in the future.
“Hopefully, this is like any one of those, any projects that we do that we start and find out what works for it, doesn't work and make adjustments as best we can,” Koecher said. “Because I want this to succeed and I think many of our committee members and elected officials want that to succeed. So, I would imagine that we're committed to the process of, hey, what's working, what's not working with? What can we adjust, what can be tweaked and tuned a little bit better?”
Geffen added that they have been hiring drivers and the commuter vans are being delivered.