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Buses, microtransit begin transporting Heber passengers

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High Valley Transit
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Included in the High Valley Transit expansion into the Heber Valley, marking Wasatch County's first public transportation, are on-demand microtransit shuttles, called through a mobile app.

Heber Valley residents can now use public transit.

In its first week operating in the Heber Valley, High Valley Transit buses and microtransit have seen surging ridership.

The first-ever public transit in Wasatch County began Sunday. In the first two days of the bus running between Park City and Heber City, High Valley Transit Executive Director Caroline Rodriguez says drivers only picked up five passengers.

But the new free service evidently caught on soon after. As of Wednesday, she said there had been 69 riders.

That’s not all, though; on-demand microtransit shuttles have also begun picking up people who call for rides on their phones through the High Valley Transit app — 52 riders as of Wednesday, she said.

She said the first week has been a chance to feel out the new bus and microtransit service area, and her agency will try to spread the word more widely in the coming weeks.

“We wanted sort of a soft launch before we really got into it,” she said. “Over the next week, people will start to see a lot of signage and posters, and it'll be advertised pretty heavily. So, I'm guessing we're going to get a lot more riders.”

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.

A link to download the High Valley Transit app here.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.
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