Bad Bus Adventure Spurs Summit County Council Request for Overhaul of Transit System

Jul 12, 2018

Summit County officials are always urging locals to take the bus. But one County Council member says that when he tried last week to hook onto a bus  from his home in Park Meadows, it was a futile effort. Roger Armstrong says the current system, with the county being partnered with Park City, needs a close look and a significant overhaul. Rick Brough has more.

Roger Armstrong lives on Meadows Drive and said the nearest   bus stop for him is at the intersection with Highway 224.

During Council Comments Wednesday, Armstrong talked about the “misadventure” he and his wife went through last Friday trying to take a bus from their home to Deer Valley.

“The My Stop app was completely unhelpful - the bus never came. That was unhelpful.  We waited quite a long time for the bus that didn’t arrive, either at the time it was supposed to, or any of the random times that happened to be posted on the bus stop sign as to when it might be expected. So we wound up driving.”

He said since the inception of the electric bus, the system has eliminated some routes or changed them.

I think we need to make sure we are getting the full bang for our buck out of the transit system. I’d like to take a look at the management of the transit system and how that fits in terms of contributions and decisions that get made. I’d like to have a frank conversation with J-Tab and the functionality of J-Tab in terms of solving problems rather than just being an informational couple of hours for the transit guys to tell us what they’re doing rather than thinking about what could be done better.”     

Armstrong said the bus system was reviewed three or four years ago, and that needs to happen again.

The brown route got taken away entirely. When I got back to my house, I actually sat down with the app again on Sunday and I live on Meadows Drive in Park City. We needed to take a bus from Meadows to Deer Valley. So I pulled that up. It looks like it’s the pink bus. It takes 42 minutes to get there. There are 29 stops between where we get on the bus and where we get off at Deer Valley. And at least one change. And I think that if any resident in the county had signed up for that - that probably would have been  be their last attempt to navigate the bus system.”

Armstrong asked to see the county’s interlocal agreement with Park City. But he heard from County Manager Tom Fisher that there are some items he can’t see.

Armstrong: “Can we get… I understand that there’s a process right now for I think, there are some changes in the transit groups and employees going through a hiring process. Can the council see copies of resumes of who’s being - since we’re part of the system – who’s being considered?

Fisher: No we can’t.

Armstrong: Why is that?

Fisher: Because they’re Park City employees.

Roger: Okay. Then I really need to see what this Interlocal Agreement looks like.

 Fisher: Got it.”

Council Member Glenn Wright said he agreed with Armstrong’s comments.

“If you look at our participation with the transit system years ago when Park City was driving most of the expenses and ridership then maybe it made sense for us to be semi-silent partners. But as we look at what we’re going to be doing with the potential BRT line and the investments we’re going to be putting into it, I’ve got a feeling that we’re going to be the dominant party in terms of money going into the system. In that regard, I think we need to take a stronger hand in the management of the system.”

Summit County Council Member Glenn Wright.