Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New bus service to Boise set for Dec. 1

3 buses daily during peak season offered


By JON DUVAL
Express Staff Writer

A new year-round bus service from Sun Valley to the Boise airport, providing up to three shuttles per day, will begin Dec. 1.

The service will have pick-up and drop-off points at the Sun Valley Lodge and the Wood River Inn on Main Street in Hailey. The buses will also stop in Shoshone, Bliss and Mountain Home en route to Boise.

Salt Lake/Boise Express, operated by the Rexburg-based Salt Lake Express shuttle and charter bus company, will run three busses per day throughout the peak winter season, through March 21. The busses will also run during the 2010 peak summer months from June 25 through Sept. 12.

During the spring and fall "slack" seasons, two daily buses will operate between Sun Valley and Boise, stopping in Twin Falls.

Fares will be $40 for a one-way adult ticket, $30 for children ages 3-12 and free for children under 3.

Another company, Sun Valley Express, also offers one to two buses per day throughout the peak winter season, as well as a daily bus during the summer and Saturday-only service during fall slack.

Last winter, Sun Valley Stages provided twice-daily bus service from the Sun Valley Inn to the Boise Airport. The cost was $50 for a one-way ticket.

Salt Lake Express spokeswoman Kathy Pope said 16-passenger vans will likely be used to provide the shuttle service, though larger buses would be available in the case of increased demand.

The bus schedule should be set by Sept. 1 and will maximize connections to flights from Boise.

Reservations can be made online at www.saltlakeexpress.com or by calling (800) 356-9796.

Sun Valley spokesman Jack Sibbach said the concierge at the lodge will also be able to make reservations for walk-in customers.

Carol Waller, executive director of the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau, said the contract with Salt Lake Express is similar to the minimum revenue guarantee used to entice Horizon Air to provide service into Hailey's Friedman Memorial Airport, though it is small compared to the contract with the airline.

"Transportation to Sun Valley is critical to our success," said Sun Valley Mayor Wayne Willich, who was at the Sun Valley Lodge on Monday morning for a small press conference announcing the service.

Pope said her company is also considering providing commuter service from Twin Falls to Sun Valley, with an estimated fare of $10 to $15.

Salt Lake Express also operates shuttle bus and van service from cities in western Idaho, including Rexburg and Pocatello, to Salt Lake City.

Jon Duval: jduval@mtexpress.com




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