START Funding Needs to be Equitable

August 19, 2019

Dear Chairwoman Macker, Mayor Muldoon, Teton County Commissioners and Town Councilors,

Transportation is an issue that every person in this community cares about and its effects on their daily life. Whether walking to restaurants, driving to work, biking to errands, or riding the START Bus to events – we all care about how people move around this valley.

Our community has invested in START buses, infrastructure, pathways, and trails to provide alternative transportation opportunities around, in and out of Teton County.

START has been successful in removing the volume of cars off the road, even surpassing one million riders for the last two years. These are proud accomplishments and show that many partners and advocates are working collaboratively to encourage people to get on the bus.

START began in Teton County in 1987 to be the skier’s transportation from the town to Teton Village. Now 32 years later, START has expanded to the Town Shuttle service, Alpine and Star Valley, Victor and Driggs as well as maintaining its original purpose.

START has been facing funding issues for several years and a 2017 working group provided several funding solution possibilities after many, many hours of work. However, now, almost two years later, not one of those recommendations has been implemented.

Our ITP calls out START as one of the fundamental solutions to our transportation goals and calls for 1.25 million riders by 2020.

Increasing ridership is a community goal which requires community solutions. START funding cannot be predicated on one business or entity. We need an equitable, sustainable model to fund START Bus services. We encourage you to work with your current partners and new partners to find solutions and move forward by discussing the working group’s recommendations.

Thank you for your work on transportation and reducing traffic in our community.

Jackson Hole Working