Late-night shuttle to begin Friday |

Late-night shuttle to begin Friday

Melinda Dudley

— In an effort to simplify its operation during tough staffing times and better serve late-night local traffic, Alpine Taxi is launching its new Steamboat Shuttle service this weekend.

The Steamboat Shuttle will operate from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily, on a designated route between downtown and the mountain area, beginning Friday. The Steamboat Shuttle will operate with a 22-seat people-mover and charge rates of $4 per person each way.

The need for the Steamboat Shuttle became clear this spring, Alpine Taxi General Manager Tracey Rogalski said. Not only did Steamboat Springs Transit end service after 10 p.m. in its summer bus schedule, but Alpine Taxi’s ski season staffing woes stretched into the spring and made it difficult to meet nighttime taxi demand, Rogalski said.

Regular Steamboat Springs Transit rider Yoindel Rizo said that although the Steamboat Shuttle is a good idea, the fares may still deter some riders.

“It’s no replacement for the free bus,” Rizo said.

For individuals and small groups, the Steamboat Shuttle’s $4 rates are cheaper than Alpine Taxi’s regular taxi service, Rogalski said.

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“Our normal taxi service will still be running, but we’re hoping to at least get the main corridor taken care of and the condos over by Whistler (Drive), at a reasonable fare,” Rogalski said. “I hope it will help the local traffic.”

In addition to potential savings to the customers, the Steamboat Shuttle also is expected to ease operations for Alpine Taxi, especially on busy weekend nights.

Last Friday night, with eight cabs running, Alpine Taxi had more than 30 runs pending at midnight, Rogalski said.

“We’ve got a core staff that works nighttime, but we just can’t find enough of them,” Rogalski said. “This last winter was our first problem.”

Alpine Taxi dispatchers are being advised to advertise the Steamboat Shuttle service to would-be taxi riders whose pick-up and destination coincide with the route, she said.

Also on Friday, Alpine Taxi will switch its local taxi service to all minivans, unless a larger vehicle is required, because of the escalating price of gas.

Shuttle schedule

11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily

(times are hourly during operation)

Downtown to mountain

:00 Seventh St. and Lincoln Avenue

:08 Fifth Street and Lincoln Avenue

:13 U.S. 40 and Anglers Drive

:20 Shadow Run

:23 Columbine Drive and Walton Creek Road

:25 Apres Ski Way and Alpenglow Way

:30 Gondola Transit Center

:35 Ski Time Square Roundabout

Mountain to downtown

:35 Ski Time Square Roundabout

:40 Village Drive and Walton Creek Road

:44 Village Drive and Meadow Lane

:47 Whistler Road and Mustang Run

:50 Whistler Road and Walton Creek Road

:52 U.S. 40 and Anglers Drive

:57 Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue