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With development coming fast, Wasatch County manager says transit can improve quality of life

The Wasatch County administration building in Heber City.
Rob Winder
The Wasatch County administration building in Heber City.

Wasatch County manager Dustin Grabau says there’s an appetite locally for expanding transit, but not all residents agree.

With significant development in the works in Wasatch County in the coming years, county leaders say the region needs new solutions to serve a growing population.

High Valley Transit is among the options to mitigate the traffic that comes with growth.

While not everyone in the Heber Valley supports expanding transit, Grabau said the appetite for more buses is there.

“Nothing’s going to be a silver bullet for solving traffic,” he said. “But I think this is one piece in the puzzle of how we make sure we preserve our quality of life in Wasatch County.”

County leaders say transit services have proved a benefit to workers living in the Heber Valley in particular.

Grabau said it’s more financially feasible to look at expanding High Valley Transit than to try to create something new.

“We’re hoping to take advantage of opportunities of scale,” he said. “High Valley Transit has already demonstrated a lot of objective success.”

The county hopes to annex into the transit organization. That will give them a seat on the board and more funding to expand services within the county and to its neighbors.

Still, state law requires new sales taxes to make the annexation possible. Grabau said that process will give county residents the chance to either support or oppose the change.

Residents on social media were less enthusiastic about transit than the county council. Some commenters want ski resorts to take responsibility for transporting their workers, while others say transit doesn’t match the Wasatch County lifestyle.

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