Community members can weigh in on future of Steamboat bus service Tuesday night |

Community members can weigh in on future of Steamboat bus service Tuesday night

A Steamboat Springs Transit bus cruises through downtown Steamboat.
Scott Franz

If you go

The Steamboat Springs City Council meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Citizens Hall. Public comment on the future of the bus system will be accepted when the agenda item is considered.

— The Steamboat Springs City Council will discuss the future of Steamboat Springs Transit Tuesday night in the wake of the bus service’s very challenging winter season.

Steamboat Springs Transit Manager Jonathan Flint hopes members of the public show up to the meeting to reflect on their experiences with the bus service and make recommendations for the future.

“What I’m hoping for is community feedback,” he said. “I think there was a desire (last year) to try this new service level and then hear back from our customers on how it went. This (meeting on Tuesday night) is an opportunity for that.”

The city administration last year pared down the winter bus service to try and save more than $140,000 in personnel and operating costs.

City staff made the changes because they anticipated the city would not be able to recruit enough drivers to run at previous service levels.

Steamboat Springs Transit saw its ridership decrease by 12 percent, or 85,296 passengers, during the 2014-2015 winter season compared to the year before.

Flint said the drops in ridership can likely be attributed to a combination of things, including lower gas prices, warmer weather and the reductions and changes to service.

Also during the winter, the city’s cost per passenger on the free-to-rider bus system went up by 20 cents, and there were increased levels of customer dissatisfaction, driver fatigue and stress, according to city staff.

In the wake of this season, city officials Tuesday night will ask the City Council whether it wants to increase, maintain or reduce the operating budget for transit and impact service levels accordingly.

Staff will also present some alternative funding options for the bus service.

To restore the bus routes to 2013-2014 levels, the city estimates it would need an additional 10 winter drivers and more funding for recruiting-related benefits.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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