START approaches 1 million riders
The maturation of the START bus system is happening right before our eyes.
Among other notable benchmarks, like the implementation of Jackson’s first public bike-share program, this year START is on track to hit 1 million riders for the first time in its history, having driven 880,000 people by the end of November, 40,000 more than at the same time last year.
“It’s really exciting to approach the million-rider mark, and we’re looking forward to continued growth and success,” START Director Darren Brugmann said. “As we continue to grow, we are constantly looking for ways to enhance service.”
Last year, START recognized that the Town Shuttle 2 was averaging just four riders per trip and made adjustments to the route. This year, it carries an average of 13 riders per trip.
“The increase in riders on Town Shuttle 2 represents creativity and innovation from our staff and board,” Brugmann said. “We plan to continue assessing routes to make them better for riders and more cost-effective for the community.”
Adjustments to the routes heading to and from Teton Village have also been made to allow for fewer stops and less crowding.
The key change is that the Blue Line, route 26, will no longer serve the Village Road Transit Center in the Stilson parking lot. Instead, it will drive straight from Kmart to Teton Village with a single stop at the Aspens condominiums.
The Red Line, route 24, and the Yellow Line, route 22, will continue to serve the Village Road Transit Center at all times of day, including during off-peak hours, without people having to call in and request a stop.
“Hopefully, this makes things run more efficiently and balances ridership out between all three routes,” said Peter Romaine, START’s operations manager. “Now you have a 90 percent chance to get a straight shot to the Village if you get picked up in Stilson.”
START has begun to examine its commuter bus routes to Teton Valley, Idaho, and Star Valley with two public surveys created to identify areas of need. The surveys can be found at StartBus.com and will remain active until Dec. 31.