JACKSON HOLE, WYO – START Bus director Darren Brugmann has circled December 29 on his company calendar. That’s the day—this Friday—he expects the Teton County bus system will carry its one millionth ride. START has never hit the million mark in a calendar year.
START Bus has experienced record-breaking numbers almost every month this year, already surpassing the all-time annual ridership record set in 2014. These ridership numbers reflect all services provided by START including commuter routes, local routes, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) services.
“We are thrilled that so many residents and visitors decided to use public transportation this past year,” Brugmann said. “More mobility means a better quality of life, and it’s our goal that riders will be able to reclaim precious time and money by leaving their cars at home, and joining friends and neighbors on transit rides.”
The 1 million-plus rides that START anticipates to provide in 2017 will represent a 3.5 percent increase compared to numbers from 2016, and an all-time high for the 30-year-old transit agency.
When it comes to growing ridership, START is not alone. According to the American Public Transportation Association, since 1995, public transportation trips are up 34 percent, outpacing both population growth and vehicle miles travelled.
Brugmann added, “We’d like to thank the Town of Jackson and Teton County for their continued support of our public transportation system. We would also like thank everyone who has helped START achieve these record breaking numbers.”
To show their appreciation, board members and staff of START, along with volunteers, will be handing out coffee and donuts at selected bus stations on the morning of December 29. Donut and coffee stations are scheduled to be located at the Teton Village stop, the Deloney Parking Lot stop, and at the Victor and Alpine stops.
In addition, KHOL will be on hand at the Teton Village bus stop from 3-5pm, providing a DJ and music.
All riders who step on a START Bus this Friday will be allowed to enter their name into a raffle. Prizes were graciously donated by Jackson Hole Lodge, McDonalds, Fine Dining Restaurant Group, Snake River Brewing, Local, Skinny Skis, Haagen-Dazs, Teton Media Works, Revolution Indoor Cycling, and Friends of Pathways.