There is one less taxi service in Steamboat as local company halts operations

Steamboat Express, formerly Go Alpine, rolled out its new name on the side of a couple of vans earlier this month. Steamboat Express announced this week that it is halting its taxi service in Steamboat, as demand has fallen to a point that the service is no longer financially viable for the company.
Steamboat Express/Courtesy photo

Formerly known as Go Alpine, Steamboat Express has announced it will suspend its local taxi service while the company evaluates the program over the next 12 months. However, Steamboat Express’ service to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport and Denver will remain unchanged.

“With the technology we had in place for the taxi service, it requires 24/7 coverage from dispatch and the driver perspective, and with ridership falling off by 95%, it’s just not economically viable,” said owner and CEO Landon Ogilvie, who with his wife purchased Go Alpine in 2019.

He said the increase in shuttle and rideshare options, along with the Yellow Zone free on-demand busing service, have caused a decrease in ridership, and there’s just not enough demand to continue operating the taxi service, first offered by Alpine Taxi in 1985.

“We are disappointed to cease taxi operations, but the destination and market have shifted dramatically since the service was first implemented in 1985, and the demand is no longer there,” Ogilvie said. “We are confident these riders now have sufficient alternative options for local transit, and we look forward to continuing to serve our residents and guests through Steamboat Express, including shared and private airport shuttle, charter, limousine, events and weddings.”

He said the available options for transportation have grown with the addition of private services and rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft in the Steamboat Springs area. That combined with the city’s free bus service, which provides rides to the mountain, downtown and other areas, means that anyone looking to get around Steamboat has plenty of options.

“The elected officials have done a great job with Yellow Line, the (Steamboat Spring Transit), and with the potential of bringing on (a regional transportation authority), the historic demand for taxi has really diminished,” Ogilvie said.

He added that the company explored the latest technologies and rideshare options available but was unable to find a sustainable way to continue providing the taxi service at current ridership levels.

In October, Go Alpine announced that it was changing its name to Steamboat Express to better integrate the long-running business with the Destination Systems family. That organization operates similar shuttle services in Aspen, Montrose, Telluride, Gunnison, Crested Butte and Denver, as well as Mammoth, California.

“We have not received much feedback yet, but it is a challenge because a lot of the riders were historically a pretty consistent ridership of locals that used it and have been using it a long time,” Ogilvie said. “It’s just very challenging to leave a driver employed for the entire evening and dispatch employed for the entire evening for two riders.”

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