Steamboat CIty Council to discuss future of bus routes at upcoming meeting |

Steamboat CIty Council to discuss future of bus routes at upcoming meeting

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

— What will Steamboat Springs’ free-to-rider bus system look like next winter and beyond?

The city of Steamboat Springs will try to answer this question sooner than it has in recent years by discussing the future of Steamboat Springs Transit with the City Council on May 5, well before budget decisions are made in the fall.

The meeting will offer the public a chance to weigh in on the changes and cuts, which were recently made to the bus service this winter, and offer recommendations for the future.

The meeting will also offer city officials and the council a chance to consider things like driver-recruiting plans.

“We’ll be planning the future of transit and discussing what we saw over the winter and what we could see moving forward,” Transit Manager Jonathan Flint said.

In response to driver-recruiting challenges, the city last year pared down parts of the winter daytime bus service and cut some routes.

The changes were made to save the city more than $140,000 in personnel and operating costs.

Some community members criticized the city administration’s decision to trim the service. Other community members saw enhanced bus service because of the changes.

Flint has been working to develop driver-recruiting relationships with other transit agencies, including ones in Alaska.

In previous years, Flint said it was a challenge to make decisions about bus routes during the budget hearings, which were held just weeks before the winter schedule needed to be rolled out.

Flint said it will be helpful to plan for the future of the bus service sooner.

“We’ll have plenty of time to involve the public with the decision-making process that will determine what the routes are going to look like,” Flint said. “Staff will also have time to develop and vet the routes and also recruit. I appreciate the fact that city council is interested and the city manager is interested in looking at this early enough that we can at least move forward and know what we’re doing as we enter the budget season.”

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

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