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START Bus to hit million passenger mark

Jackson’s START Bus expects to hit a milestone Friday. The service forecasts the number of riders boarding START buses this year will exceed one million for the first time in a calendar year on December 29.

START director Darren Brugmann says the service has experienced record-breaking numbers almost every month in 2017. Ridership has already surpassed the all-time annual record set in 2014. The numbers include all services provided by START including commuter routes, local routes, and services provided under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

“We are thrilled that so many residents and visitors decided to use public transportation this past year,” said Brugmann. “More mobility means a better quality of life, and it’s our goal that riders will be able to reclaim precious time and money by leaving their cars at home and joining friends and neighbors on transit rides.”

2017 boardings are expected to show a 3.5 percent increase compared to 2016 and reflect an all-time high for the 30-year-old agency. The increase reflects a national trend. According to the American Public Transportation Association, public transportation trips are up 34 percent since 1995.

“We’d like to thank the Town of Jackson and Teton County for their continued support of our public transportation system,” said Brugmann. “We would also like to thank everyone who has helped START achieve these record-breaking numbers.”

START staff and volunteers will be handing out coffee and donuts at selected bus stations Friday morning. And, all riders that day will be allowed to enter a raffle for prizes donated by Jackson area businesses.

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