Emerald City’s White Whale retires | SteamboatToday.com

Emerald City’s White Whale retires

Kelly Silva

— Jennifer Rose, youth program coordinator for Emerald City, said the program’s new bus doesn’t have an official name yet, but its white and black design kind of resembles a zebra.

“Hopefully it will earn its own name where the kids are involved,” Rose said.

Program directors approached the city of Steamboat Springs about a new bus when the program’s other bus broke down in April in front of Strawberry Park Elementary.

The bus is used to transport students from the city’s two elementary schools to the after-school program on 11th Street.

When the new, $102,000 20-seat bus arrived at the transit building Aug. 29, Rose and her colleagues were surprised that the white bus had black stripes. They immediately drove the bus to Hayden.

“She seemed to be running like a charm,” Rose said, adding that it still is.

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The new bus also is wheelchair accessible.

The Emerald City bus is funded 100 percent by the city.

Rose said the children were thrilled to sit in the new bus and many wanted to be the first ones on it.

The previous bus, nicknamed the White Whale, was on its last leg, Rose said. It was used when the city got it and the program used it for about 10 years.

“When the White Whale would sputter, you’d get a look from the kids like, ‘Is this it? What’s going to happen next?'” Rose said.

“It was a little too old. The last time it was in use we heard a large thump under the engine and a hose had blown.”

With the bus stranded at Strawberry Park, the Winter Sports Club and Steamboat Springs Transit rescued the program.

“SST was phenomenal in keeping our programs mobile,” Rose said. “We used their vehicles and sometimes even their gas for summer camp and after-school programs.”