Park City is considering microtransit years after the idea of ​​a similar system was scrapped amid opposition to taxis

The Marsac building.
Park Record File Photo

Park City plans to introduce a so-called microtransit system to two neighborhoods nearly five years after the idea of ​​starting a similar program was scrapped amid transportation industry opposition.

City Hall provided limited information about a microtransit system in a transportation-focused report that was written ahead of a park city council meeting scheduled for Thursday. A microtransit system would be a pilot program.

A microtransit system essentially provides routes serving places that are not close to regular bus lines. In the case of Park City, officials see a system as potentially serving Park City Heights or Park Meadows. The bus system serves some sections of Park Meadows but not Park City Heights.



The report describes microtransit as “a step between” fixed-route bus service and private sector options like taxis and ride-sharing companies.

Details of a pilot program were not included. A microtransit system could potentially pick someone up from certain locations and then drop them off at other defined locations. The report says microtransit would not be “intended to replace direct rides, but to complement public transit service and provide greater coverage.”



The report says City Hall has the option of working with a microtransit program operated by High Valley Transit, which is the system centered in unincorporated Summit County. He estimates that a six-month pilot program with High Valley Transit would cost $250,000. The pilot would involve three vehicles operating from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

City hall could also solicit bids for the pilot program through a request for proposals, the report said. A Request for Proposals would be issued if City Hall would pursue a permanent microtransit service.

If Park City executives want to pursue microtransit, details could be worked out for a meeting in late April. A pilot program could be approved at that time.

A microtransit system would be another step by City Hall as it attempts to address widespread traffic complaints. There have been concerns about traffic for decades, but there are new concerns as Park City enjoys a strong economic comeback from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Any future discussion of a microtransit system would take place after an earlier concept of such a system was condemned by the transport industry. Traditional taxi and shuttle companies of the time feared that a microtransit system would reduce their business. They claimed that short journeys like those that a microtransit system would provide were important to their numbers.

Park City leaders in 2017 discussions appeared to be gearing up to approve a contract with a Florida company for microtransit service before the contract was abruptly removed from the city council agenda in September at the behest of the mayor at the time, Jack Thomas.

Thursday’s city council meeting is due to start at 3 p.m. and be held at the Marsac building and be broadcast online. More information about the meeting is available on City Hall’s website, parkcity.org. The direct link to the meeting agenda is: granicus_production_attachments.s3.amazonaws.com/parkcity/83d37de0ad96f206fe87a348e4fba2100.pdf.