The date of December 29 is highlighted on Darren Brugmann’s calendar. Brugmann, the START Bus Director, forecasts that this will be the day that the number of riders boarding START buses will exceed 1 million for the first time in a calendar year. START Bus has experienced impressive record-breaking numbers almost every month this year and has already surpassed 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," said Brugmann. "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 be a 3.5 percent increase compared to numbers from 2016 and an all-time high for the 30-year-old 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.
“We’d like to thank the Town of Jackson and Teton County for their continued support of our public transportation system,” said Brugmann. “We would also like thank everyone who has helped START achieve these record breaking numbers.”
To show their appreciation, the START Board, START staff, and 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 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. providing a DJ and music.
All riders who step on a START bus on December 29 will be allowed to enter their name into a raffle. The START Board along with all of the START Bus employees would like to thank 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 for generously donating raffle prizes.
START Bus encourages you to consider supporting the reduction of traffic throughout the winter season - ride the bus, walk, ski, bike or rideshare. Please check www.startbus.com for details on all of the winter routes, schedules and fees or contact START Bus directly at (307) 733-4521.
The START system began operations in 1987 and is funded with a mix of revenues from the Town of Jackson, Teton County, and the federal government. For up-to-date route and schedule information, download the RouteShout mobile app from the iTunes store or the Android Market.