START Bus has experienced recording breaking ridership numbers almost every month this year. Through the month of November 2017, nearly 880,000 rides have been taken, up from just over 840,000 through November of 2016. This includes all services provided by START: commuter routes, local routes, and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) service.
In addition to setting a record pace for ridership, START is constantly monitoring and adjusting operations to maximize efficiency and customer service. One example of these operational adjustments involves the Town Shuttle 2, which had been experiencing low ridership levels, averaging approximately 4 passengers per trip last summer. Adjustments were made to the route, resulting in an increase to approximately 13 riders per trip this summer.
Operational efficiency, along with new options such as the START Bikes that debuted this summer and the additional Teton Valley commuter line which was implemented in June of 2016, are all part of START’s ongoing effort to enhance service and provide sustainable transportation options that can help mitigate local traffic and congestion issues.
“It’s really exciting to approach the million-rides mark, and we’re looking forward to continued growth and success,” said Darren Brugmann, START Director. “As we continue to grow, we are constantly looking for ways to enhance service. The increase in riders on Town Shuttle 2 represents creativity and innovation from our staff and Board. We plan to continue assessing routes to make them better for riders and more cost effective for the community.”
In addition to operational route adjustments, START alters seasonal staffing levels to address variable demand. Over the course of the year, there are generally 9 full-time bus operators on staff at all times, and seasonal part-time operators range from approximately 25 to 30 in spring, summer, and fall, increasing to almost 60 during the winter.
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.