All partners are now on board to begin public bus service between Park City and Salt Lake City, and they are aiming for an Oct. 2 start.
The Utah Transit Authority board and the Summit County Council both adopted in separate meetings on Wednesday an interlocal agreement for the service.Park City previously approved it.
All three parties agree to partially subsidize the service at first. "We hope this will be paid for primarily by fares, but we realize that it will take some time to grow the market," said Jerry Benson, chief operating officer for UTA.
Summit County and Park City agreed to subsidize it by up to a combined $470,000 in the first year. After that is spent, UTA agrees to subsidize it by up to $180,000 in that year. Once that is spent, the partners can end the service or one of them could decide to subsidize it further.
Plans call for charging a one-way fare of $5.50, or monthly passes for $242, for travel on coach-style express buses operated by UTA. Officials said fares are designed so that the service would break even with 90 percent occupancy.
"We expect it to be highly successful," said Summit County Public Works Director Kevin Callahan.
Plans call for 16 buses a day during the peak months of December to April, and 12 a day from May to November.
Stops will include: the Salt Lake Central Station; State Street at 200 South; University Hospital; a park-and-ride near the mouth of Parley's Canyon; Jeremy Ranch; Kimball Junction; the Canyons resort; Park City Mountain Resort; Old Town Transit Center in Park City; and Deer Valley.
UTA officials said they hope the service will attract daily commuters in both directions, including University of Utah students from Park City or Salt Lake County residents who work or shop in Park City.
Such bus service has been discussed for years. But UTA was not allowed to offer service outside its district where sales taxes generate about 80 percent of revenues; fares bring in only 20 percent. Park City and Summit County have their own transit service.
Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, passed SB301 in the Legislature this year, which allows transit districts to offer joint service through an interlocal agreement without one taking over the other.