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Will I See You At The New Bus Transit Center Planned for Kimball Junction?

Summit County has been working on a new transportation center that will be behind the library (Richens building) in Kimball Junction. I believe the county and Park City hope this $3 million+ effort will enable buses to run between Kimball Junction and Park City more quickly. At the 60,000 foot level I suppose providing a dedicated location for buses to pick up people makes sense. However, I was talking with a friend who still couldn’t wrap her head around the benefits. She kept saying, “Will it be as fast as a car? Will it be as fast as a car? Will it be as fast as a car?”

The truth is that if they want locals to use it, the trip from one’s house in their car, to a park and ride, to get on a bus, to the transit center in KJ, to their final destination had better be as fast as a car. As our English teachers know, when writing, a comma indicates a pause, and that’s the problem here. It’s hard to fathom in the next 5 years (with or without a transit center) that people will generally get to their destinations as fast as they would in car. Every pause in my sentence above means a pause for the commuter. Sure, on a random Saturday during Sundance, it may be true that a bus is faster (if dedicated bus lanes are developed) than a car… but not generally.

If our citizens don’t make public transport part of their routine, it will never catch on. That’s why I worry that the KJ Transit Center will just become a $3 million boondoggle. Sure, a couple million of that money is provided by federal funds…but it’s still our money.

So, will I see you at the new bus transit center? Probably not… because I won’t be there.




Walt Wehner

Yeah, it’s the usual problem. Bus is 20-50% slower than a private car, so nobody uses it, so traffic gets so bad that cars take twice as long to get where they want to go (and buses are still 20-50% slower, since they’re in the same traffic).

Meanwhile I’ll be riding by bike past the traffic jams and laughing.


I’m supposed to drive my car to the park and ride, wait for the bus, then ride to KJ to wait and get in another bus?

They are out of their minds.


How will this speed up traffic compared to the bus stop behind Cafe Rio?

Walt Wehner

The classic solution for traffic problems is to reduce/eliminate free parking. But people tend to freak out about that, so it never happens.

Honestly, I can’t imagine a worse setup for traffic than the Kimball/224/Old Town stretch. Lots of bottlenecks, lots of very concentrated traffic at peak times, and no really viable options for opening up the route. I keep hearing about new planning efforts and positions within the city/county to address traffic, and we’ve got this idiotic park and ride now – but IMO this is all just doing something for the sake of looking like we’re doing something.

The bottom line is that with the current state of development and topography, everyone driving alone in a private car is going to result in huge traffic jams some of the time, no matter what. The solution is going to have to involve some form of public/mass transit, but this PNR is not going to do squat.

My assumption is that eventually Vail Resorts will have to try to solve it themselves by eliminating free parking anywhere on their property and running private shuttles from remote lots/SLC, and probably pressuring the city to assist in the effort. It would be relatively easy to make parking in the entire city limits peak priced. Probably worth making all of main a pedestrian mall, too, and just getting the cars off it entirely.

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