Summit County Hears Preliminary Findings from Equity and Access to Transit Study
The summit stage is a free resource for visitors and community members, but the quality of its operation and service to the community is what county leaders identify as they move forward with their transportation plan. at short distance.
As part of this plan, the county and its partners document the existing conditions of the transportation service, conduct a survey of current users, identify the needs and opportunities of the service, and set goals for the agency for the next five years. .
To help with these efforts, transport consultancy Fehr & Peers is coordinating a study on equity and access. Company transportation planner Sydney Provan attended the County Commissioners Summit Council working meeting on Tuesday July 13 to provide county leaders with an update on the study, which included a reminder reasons why it was needed in the first place.
Provan noted that awareness of the short-haul transit plan did not reach a full representative sample of services for residents and that awareness of the plan was primarily linked to existing riders. In Provan’s presentation, she noted that the equity and access study is an opportunity to learn more about people who often face barriers to travel.
Outreach for the study included a new survey, as well as awareness focus groups for Summit and Lake counties that took place earlier this week. So far, Provan said the new survey has garnered around 130 responses and that there are print and online versions for both Spanish and English speakers. So far, around a quarter of those surveyed have been Spanish speaking.
Although Provan and her team are still collecting data and finalizing the results, she shared some preliminary themes with the commissioners. Importantly, his presentation was based on the top 80 responses, which is the number the poll compiled when the presentation was created on July 6. His preliminary conclusions were based on these early results.
Some of the results she shared correlated directly with how respondents completed the survey.
“One interesting thing that dawned on us is that there are big differences between the people who completed the survey in Spanish and English,” said Provan.
For example, Provan said the rate of people reporting having access to a car was much higher for English speakers than for Spanish speakers. Not only that, but the rate of people who have difficulty accessing their destinations frequently or all the time is higher for Spanish speakers than for English speakers. The way these two populations use the summit scene is also different.
“English responses are more likely to drive themselves, cycle or walk,” said Provan. “And then (there is) a higher response rate for responses to the Spanish survey to ride Summit Stage or Breckenridge Free Ride or be ridden by friends and family.”
Some broader operational themes that Provan pulled out were that about 20% of respondents ride on Summit Stage on a weekly basis and travel time is the main challenge in general transportation. Provan said respondents indicated that the main barriers to using Summit Stage are wait times between buses and time spent traveling on the bus.
Some of the desired routes respondents would like to see include the following:
- Direct link from Frisco to Dillon
- More options for Breckenridge Main Street
- No more stops in the Dillon Valley
- Service at Swan Meadow Village / Summit Cove
- Service to the Frisco Peninsula
- Service to medical services, including locations outside of Summit County like the Shaw Cancer Center
- Service to MountainView, LakeFork and other manufactured home parks
After Provan finished his presentation, the three commissioners expressed their support for making the summit scene more user-friendly for the Spanish-speaking community in the county. Summit County Commissioner Josh Blanchard noted that some people have to be at work by 6 a.m. and services usually don’t start until later in the day.
Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence also expressed support for making changes to the service to make it more inclusive.
“Obviously a lot of our Spanish speaking community really depends on the summit scene,” Lawrence said. “What can we do to make this more accessible? What can we do to make it more intuitive for them, more user-friendly? “
Lawrence suggested that drivers take a Spanish course via their phone, and Blanchard and Commissioner Tamara Pogue have expressed support for adding stops near medical offices.
Provan noted that the study is not yet complete and his team is working with local partners to gather answers, including the Summit County Community and Senior Center, Building Hope Summit County, Family & Intercultural Resource Center and more. .
Summit County Deputy Principal Bentley Henderson and Lawrence have both expressed their interest in the Summit School District participating in the study to see how the Summit Stage could better serve students trying to get to school, especially those who attend Summit High School.
As for next steps, Provan said the awareness portion of the equity and access study will end in mid-July. In mid-August, his team will finalize a needs analysis, and in early September, his team will present short, medium and long term recommendations.