PARK CITY, Utah. – Summit County Transportation is considering combining the 6-Lime and 7-Pink bus routes to become a fixed-route service from Jeremy Ranch to Deer Valley, dubbed temporarily as the “New Line.” Neighborhoods including Silver Springs, Willow Creek, Sun Peak, and sections of Pinebrook will lose fixed-route bus service – but could gain micro-transportation services to connect riders to their destination with artificial intelligence (AI).
“[Some residents] won’t have fixed-route service as they know it now,” said Caroline Rodriguez, regional transportation planning director. “Where their service improves is that they will be in a micro-transit zone, which means they will be requesting a ride via app or phone call, and that ride would pick them up much closer to where they are than a fixed-route bus stop.”
The Ride with Via app is available in the app store for those curious to check out a similar, current system; however, the Park City-specific application is still developing. This micro-transit AI system calculates the rider’s best route to their destination based on user location, time of day, and where other buses are in their routes at that time.
“Under this service proposal, you will likely not wait more than 15 minutes for a vehicle, and most of the time, it will be 10 minutes,” said Rodriguez. “You will not be walking to a fixed-route bus stop, [micro-transit] will probably pick you up much closer to your house.”
The transit board has not yet approved this plan and will do so in the following weeks. The next meeting on the bus route proposal is this Thursday, March 25, and is open to the public. Anyone can sign up here.
Public outcry about the change has appeared on sites including Facebook and Nextdoor. Rodriguez posted her number and contact information, but said no one has reached out to ask her any questions yet.
“We are expanding into areas that previously did not have service,” she said. “We did not use pandemic ridership numbers. We used a normal year. Less than one person per trip on that 45-foot bus in Silver Springs. ”