START cutting back on commuter routes

JACKSON, Wyo. – START Bus will reduce commuter service beginning next week as ridership has dropped off by half in recent days.

START will cut one round-trip run for Teton Valley, Idaho and Star Valley, Wyoming beginning Monday, March 30. It will mean a reduction in bus service down to three round-trips per day from four. The change will bring START Bus commuter routes back to the level of service offered in 2018 and 2019.

The reduction of service will eliminate the following commuter trips as of March 30, 2020:

Teton Valley 4
Departing at 7:40 am and returning at 7:30 pm

Star Valley 4
Departing at 7:40 am and returning at 7:45 pm

While currently operating on the reduced spring schedule, START Bus is continuing to make over 500 passenger trips daily with a decrease in ridership of approximately 50% in comparison to previous spring seasons as a result of precautions being taken by the local community to flatten the curve of COVID-19.

Public transportation, which includes bus drivers and mass transit workers, is considered essential infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security, as well as state and local authorities. Until that guidance changes, START Bus will continue to offer service to the community as long possible while continuing to right-size the levels of service.

START will continue to evaluate the level of service provided as further service adjustments may be necessary.  These adjustments may include reducing the current level of service to the Town Shuttle and the Number 20 Green Line to Teton Village.

“START Bus looks forward to ramping service back to normal levels as the nation works to recover from these extraordinary circumstances,” said Darren Brugmann the Director of START Bus.

START Bus plays a vital role in the community as it creates a means of transportation for community members who do not have vehicles or are unable to drive for local trips to purchase groceries, obtain necessary healthcare, or commute to essential jobs.

START asks riders to please not take unnecessary trips and, as often as possible, keep 6 feet between yourself and others. START Bus also recommends washing your hands before boarding and as soon as possible after disembarking.

START Bus is taking proactive measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. START Bus is working closely with local health organizations and will continue to follow best practices as recommended by health officials.

Here are some measures that START Bus is taking to address COVID-19:

Fixed Route/ Commuter Buses:

  • Daily cleanings of interior surfaces to include the operator’s area, all handrails, entry and exit points of the buses.
  • Provide all operators gloves, face masks, Lysol spray and hand sanitizer as permitted. These are optional as to not cause public concern.
  • All operators have been provided hand wipes to cleanse area at shift change which may occur on the street.
  • Trash removal happens daily sometimes two or three times daily.
  • At least once a week each vehicle undergoes a deep clean i.e. mopping of floors, window cleaning, sweeping and thorough cleaning.
  • Each bus’s exterior is washed multiple times during the week.
  • Employees are encouraged to perform good hygiene habits by washing hands, not touching face, and to sneeze into their arm or tissue.
  • If any flu-like symptoms develop employees are encouraged to stay home.
    ADA Buses
  • Daily cleaning of interior surfaces to include seats, handrails, and entry/exit points.
  • Gloves, face masks, antibacterial hand wipes, and Lysol provided to operators to protect themselves from immediate contact with their patrons.

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