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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of May 15 - 21, 2002


Itís official: Peak bus to begin June 3

Express Staff Writer

Public transportation expands throughout the Wood River Valley June 3 when, for the first time, commuters from Bellevue to Sun Valley will be able ride a bus to and from work.

For $1.50, riders can pick up the new peak-hour bus Monday through Friday three times in the morning and three times in the evening.

A trip from Bellevue to Ketchum is scheduled to take about 40 minutes. A trip from Hailey to Ketchum is scheduled to take 26 minutes.

The first pick-up occurs at 6:10 a.m. at the Park & Ride lot on the south end of Bellevue and reaches St. Lukeís Wood River Medical Center, just south of Ketchum, at 6:43 a.m., after making seven stops.

Another run begins at 7:05 a.m. in Bellevue and reaches the Sinclair service station in Sun Valley at 7:52 a.m., after making 11 stops. A final run from Bellevue to Ketchum begins at 9:05 a.m.

Afternoon runs in the reverse direction begin in Sun Valley at 3:30, 5 and 6:45 p.m.

In addition, a limited schedule of service from north to south in the morning and from south to north in the evening will be offered.

Passengers will be able to pay fares on the bus, or buy passes at Atkinsonsí Market in Hailey and Ketchum. Maps and schedules are being printed and should be available at the grocery stores by May 27.

News that the long-anticipated bus service would begin June 3 came Monday when the Blaine County Commission voted unanimously to enter a contract with Sun Valley Express to provide a 42-passenger bus.

The contract runs for a year, beginning June 1.

Ketchum Area Rapid Transit will oversee the operation for the county, a first step toward KARTís becoming a regional purveyor of public transportation services, Commissioner Sarah Michael said.

The bus will feature bike racks, and, in an effort to entice finicky commuters from their cars, coffee and bagels.

Though the service has $40,000 in its county-managed trust fund, enough to operate for at least three months, and perhaps longer, funding for permanent operation is not yet in place.

Beth Callister, director of Wood River Rideshare, has been deeply involved with the fundraising effort. She said the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley have indicated they will allocate up to $30,000 each for the service during the cityís upcoming budget hearings.

Callister is also looking for more money from grants, fares and private donations.


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.