Friday, March 21, 2014

Bus ridership jumps in February

Mountain Rides reports 18 percent increase over last year

Express Staff Writer

Electronic destination signs on Mountain Rides buses, as shown here in late February, recognized Blaine County 2014 Olympic medalists Kaitlyn Farrington and Hilary Knight. Also, snowfall late in the month was credited as a major reason for an 18 percent bus ridership increase in February compared to February 2013. Photo by courtesy photo

   Snow and a large ski club conference are being credited for an 18 percent bus ridership increase on the Mountain Rides Transportation Authority system last month, compared to the previous year.
    “February 2014 was a great month considering the meager snowpack,” Mountain Rides Operations Manager Jim Finch said at a Wednesday meeting of the organization’s board of directors. “Ridership jumped significantly later in the month with the arrival of snow, visitors and the National Brotherhood of Skiers conference.
    “It was one of our best winter months ever, and it was accident free,” Finch said.
    Data released by Mountain Rides at Wednesday’s meeting shows that there were 69,845 bus or van rides in February of this year compared to 58,921 in February 2013.
    The organization’s free Blue Route, which serves the Ketchum-Sun Valley area, running between Elkhorn and Warm Springs, showed the largest system increase at 33 percent last month compared to the previous year. The Hailey Circulator Route, which provides free around-town bus service in Hailey, also showed a large increase, at 30 percent.
    The paid-fare Valley Route, which runs between the north and south valley areas, actually showed a 2 percent ridership decrease in February of this year compared to February 2013. Mountain Rides attributed the decrease to minor service reductions that were put in place in late 2013.
    The February ridership increase follows a modest 1.6 percent ridership increase in January of this year compared to January 2013.
    For the first two months of this year, Mountain Rides recorded a total of 136,117 rides, which computes to a 9.6 percent increase over the 124,162 rides tallied for the first two months of 2013.

Bellevue transit hub
    In other business, Mountain Rides Executive Director Jason Miller reported that progress continues on establishment of a south valley transit center at the intersection of Gannett Road and Clover Road in southern Bellevue. Miller told the board that Mountain Rides is currently pursuing preliminary design approval, federal environmental approval and a conditional use permit from the city of Bellevue.
    “I think we’re staying largely on track time wise,” Miller said.
    According to the project schedule, construction will begin in August or September and be finished by January of 2015.

Olympic kudos
    Just prior to adjournment of Wednesday’s Mountain Rides’ board meeting, board Chair Susan McBryant complimented the organization for posting messages about Blaine County 2014 Olympic medalists on the electronic destination signs on system buses.
    “It was really neat; it’s the bus system giving back to the community; it was nice,” McBryant said. However, she asked for clarification about the posting that stated: “We Love Hilary.”
    Finch explained that message recognized Sun Valley athlete Hilary Knight, who helped lead the women’s Team USA hockey team to a silver medal.
    “Did you think it was Hillary Clinton?” Finch said.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.