Bus Access Now Restricted to Six Bikes at a Time Starting This Summer
I love Park City’s transit system. While some people seek freedom in a car, true freedom comes from being able to get anywhere without having to lug a two-ton machine around with you everywhere you go. It’s one of the great things about this town, and what I miss most about living within the bounds of the transit route. Armed with just a bike and a bus schedule, you can comfortably get anywhere, even to Salt Lake and back, without breaking a sweat.
Park City Transit’s appeal isn’t limited to commuters, day trippers, or those looking for a ride back to the car the morning after, and the mountain bike community quickly caught on to the fact they could get a free 1,000 ft boost free-of-charge. “Bus laps” and “free shuttle” became common phrases in the Park City mountain bike vocabulary. How many towns could boast that their free transit system doubled as a mountain bike shuttle? It’s one of our favorite seasonal perks in the area, and one that we take advantage of throughout the summer, especially when showing guests around the trails.
Unfortunately though, earlier this month Park City Transit announced that it would be restricting bikes on board to a maximum of six, with three on the front rack and three inside the bus, and predictably, outrage quickly spread throughout social media. However, anyone who rode the purple bus on a weekend last year had to have seen the writing on the wall for this and it shouldn’t have came as much of a surprise. A bus full of untethered bikes could present potential safety hazards should passengers need to quickly evacuate the bus. Additionally, put yourself in the shoes of a non-biking passenger having to deal with a bus load of smelly, sweat and dirt crusted passengers with their bikes rolling about. Likely not a great experience.
Was this the best solution out there? Definitely not. Did Park City miss an opportunity to further establish the town as a mountain bike destination opting instead for a convenient solution? We think so. But here’s the thing, on the scale of first world problems, this ranks up there with having your J.Crew catalog wrinkled by the mailman. Yes, it’s disappointing news, but bitching and spewing hate towards the city on Facebook because they aren’t going to take you and more than five of your friends and your $3,000+ bikes up the mountain for free anymore just makes you out to look like a bunch of entitiled douchebags. Especially considering that, I’m guessing, not anyone who expressed their contempt at the new policy showed up to any of the “Help Us Plan for the Future” meetings held by Park City Transit in the past year. Despite popular belief, no one, not even the city, owes you shit.
Which is what this is really about. Armchair civics and policy discussion via Facebook is an epidemic. There is no shortage of “that trail sucks” or “Park City trails need this” attitude, but when you ask people to kick in a few bucks, donate their time, or show up for a goddam meeting once-in-a-while in support, there’s radio silence if not outright backlash.
So here’s your challenge, instead of adding to the excess of negativity and noise that is Facebook, how about getting off your ass/phone/computer and making an effort in real life. Park City Council meetings are always open to public input, and there’s a handy tool called the internet that makes them incredibly easy to find. I guarantee if you and enough of your fellow comrades can make a convincing argument in support of how the new policy could negatively effect summer mountain bike tourism (read: tax revenue), or how they could sell a separate bike access bus pass for riders, they’ll listen.
If you show up, voice your concern, and get shut down, then feel free to post away about the incredible injustices you face as a mountain biker in Park City. Until then, shut the fuck up about it.