What does the future of public transportation look like for Moab? That is the question that a new committee will study. The Grand County Council appointed members to the ad-hoc Moab Transit Authority Study Committee on May 1.
“The Moab Transit Authority Study Committee shall serve as an ad-hoc committee to research and propose a plan for the deployment of all transit-oriented development, transit facilities and transit vehicles, bicycles and electric-pedal assist bicycles necessary to serve the public transit needs of county residents and visitors to and within the Moab region,” said Council Member Curtis Wells. “Grand County wishes to encourage transit-oriented development as defined by Utah code.”
Wells cited Utah Code, saying that any body has the authority to adopt a resolution to organize, operate and maintain a system of public transit in the municipality.
“Obviously there’s a lot of planning that needs to be done but this just gives the county and members of the community an opportunity to start the conversation and ideally incubate what could be the future Moab Transit Authority,” Wells added. “The need is there [and] the opportunity is there.”
The committee will be comprised of Airport Director Judd Hill, Community and Economic Development Director Zacharia Levine, Travel Council Director Elaine Gizler and residents Michael Liss, Emily Campbell and Joe Kingsley.
Liss is known in town for forming Arches for the People, a group that tried to organize transit for Arches National Park to avoid the implementation of a reservation system for entry. Liss worked to create the “Arches Transportation Hub,” which he hoped would be based at the Uranium Mill Tailings Remediation Site.
However, Liss said in a letter to the UMTRA committee, “I have decided not to pursue the UMTRA site for the Arches Transportation Hub.” He cited environmental and hydrological issues with building a transportation hub at that location.
“I’m very motivated to volunteer and get involved but having a committee would actually give me the opportunity, for example, to go meet with Park City, meet with the mayor of Springdale, meet with the Roaring Fork Authority, because it would actually be like a government trying to do one of these things. We just need to get you guys information ... it’s a big topic,” said Liss.
“My sense is that there is a lot of support for this,” said Levine. “In my research of gateway and natural amenity communities in the Western United States, affordable housing and transportation are consistently identified as the top two challenges that these community types face ... This is a really proactive, forward-thinking step in trying to get ahead of our transportation planning challenges.”