Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Consolidated bus service considered for upper valley

Mountain Rides and Sun Valley Co. discuss possibilities

Express Staff Writer

Mountain Rides Transportation Authority has entered into discussions with Sun Valley Co. to consolidate bus service in the Ketchum and Sun Valley areas.

"The talks are very preliminary at this time, but they are positive," Mountain Rides board Chairman Peter Everett said Monday.

Mountain Rides "Around Town Bus Service," formerly known as KART, runs daily routes in the Sun Valley-Ketchum area that often overlap with the older, yellow skier-transportation buses operated by Sun Valley Resort.

Everett said it would likely save Sun Valley Co. money to combine the two services, and consolidation would also be more convenient for commuters, skiers and tourists.

"We'd like to have one easily comprehensible, easy-to-understand bus system," he said. "It would be a much more customer-friendly service all around. We could probably offer pretty good service.

"It looks like a deal that might work, and we'd like to do it by next winter if we can," he said.

Mountain Rides Executive Director Jason Miller said the details still need a lot of study, but that some consolidated routes could be in place for next year's ski season.

"We're working together now," Miller said. "I'm starting to get some information from them to learn their system."

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