‘Pollution Solution’ KartsUT electric low-speed vehicles come to Daybreak
Jul 22, 2019 02:11PM
● By Jennifer J Johnson
Daybreak is all the more picturesque when one is not chained to a steering wheel. The new concept for transporation within a planned community and to-and-from transit belongs to long-time SoJo resident Julie Holbrook. (Jason Yeaman)
By Jennifer J. Johnson | [email protected]
Dubbing itself a “pollution solution” for planned communities, college or medical campuses, and other types of urban centers, KartsUT has chosen the Daybreak community in South Jordan to launch, and is already doing so, with community success stories aplenty.
First mile/last mile transportation
KartsUT focuses on “first mile/last mile” transportation—the current “unsweet spot” in robust adoption/acceptance of mass transit, the aspect of travel transporting someone to and from their front doorstep to a light-rail, heavy-rail, bus or other transportation mechanism.
The company is the brainchild of long-term Daybreak resident Julie Holbrook, and so it comes as no surprise that she selected Daybreak, recently awarded best-planned community in the country, for her test market. Holbrook credits the Daybreak visionaries with being supportive of her concept, indicating they even want her to participate in a podcast about karts and what it delivers to Daybreak residents.
“The people of Daybreak are a ‘cut above’—innovative and open to new concepts,” Holbrook said.
The research behind the ride
After “doing a lot of research”—a hallmark activity of the former mayor of a town in the Pacific Northwest and current vice chair of the South Jordan Planning Commission—Holbrook decided to market her concept of providing low-pollution, energy-saving, safe, reliable “rideshare” options to deliver individuals to destinations—be they locations within the community or transit points transporting folks to more far-flung locations.
Golf carts are not street legal, and most other cars pollute. Holbrook’s Karts can go anywhere the speed limit is 35 or under.
What this means to Daybreak dwellers? Trips within Daybreak and even all the way to the neighboring Herriman High School or Herriman Towne Center—all in the electric vehicles.
“I think this helps our community reduce the air pollution here. This will be good for anybody and everybody.”
Holbrook says she “looked all over” to find a manufacturer offering safety-first, comfort- and energy-saving rides next for customers. Her search landed in Florida, where her orders went in, at the soonest-opportunity possible.
Holbrook also worked with Utah Sen. Lincoln Fillmore to draft and successfully pass motor-assisted transportation legislation allowing for the Karts.
Proof of concept
Holbrook launched the new concept and her business late June, providing municipal and community leaders and other interested participants the opportunity to experience travel in what she says is not only environmentally friendly, but “fun.”
So far, the business is comprised precisely of what Holbrook envisions: families wanting to go to the pool and not return to a hot car, business executives wanting to catch a TRAX departure and get up close to the train itself versus wasting valuable time hunting for then walking to the train from distant parking, teens needing to get to job sites without taxing working parents or parents parenting other children.
KartsUT is seeking to offer a variety of transportation packages to suit Daybreak residents.
“The Commuter” runs $55 monthly and provides door-to-door service to and from the Daybreak TRAX line.
“The Socialite” costs $25 monthly and offers one daily roundtrip service within Daybreak.
Holbrook says she is exploring a package for “The Learner,” which would allow ride-sharing to and from school for students. Interested parents should put together up to six students for a Kart and contact Holbrook, she invites.
Right now, while KartsUT is in test-mode, “The Impromptu” is, perhaps, the most popular option—with a mother hailing karts to take her to and from work, until she purchases a car and an 18-year old leveraging the service for whenever she works at a local pizzeria.
The KartsUT Ride
Karts is starting out with two vehicle types—a six- and a four-seater.
The vehicles are surprisingly roomy—Holbrook’s 6’7” chiropractor, Dr. James Scranton a Daybreak resident and business participant in the SoJo-based Scranton Chiropractic, easily glides into the front seat, leaving his Daybreak practice for a spin around the community, a ride which he says is “more comfortable than my own car!”
And then there is the bling factor—karts offer lights inside, up top, and on the bottom.
“It is fun to see peoples’ reactions,” says Holbrook.
“I saw this as an opportunity to do something to help out,” says Holbrook, who confirmed that she did not pursue advancement to SoJo’s Planning Chair role when the recent vacancy came up, electing to pursue her altruistic, but business-grounded concept.
Holbrook also emphasizes the important contribution KartsUT makes as a private-sector business offering the first mile/last mile and ride-sharing services, as opposed to a public-subsidized entity, such as Utah Transit Authority.