JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK)-START Bus expects to begin restoring services that were drastically reduced in March, thanks to CARES Act funding.
Demand for service is slowly increasing along with ridership. START and the Town of Jackson said the funding may also allow for potential route improvement implementation sooner than expected.
CARES Act funding will support operating, administration, and maintenance expenses to provide public transportation services in response to COVID-19.
It is expected to help offset some of the reduction in revenue from Town and County government caused by an unexpected loss of sales and lodging tax collections.
“This federal assistance could not have come at a better time when we at the Town and County are working through major revenue shortfalls and prioritizing funding for core services,” said Town Manager Larry Pardee.
START’s primary objectives will focus on providing alternative transportation options accessible to all users, while reducing emissions by taking private vehicles off congested roads.
“Having our federal government provide immediate assistance to small rural transit systems such as START will ensure we can continue to transport individuals dependent on our system for their essential needs is enormous,” said Darren Brugmann, START Bus Director. “We are very thankful to both the federal government and the state of Wyoming for making this funding available and so quickly.”
He said START would continue to work with local health officials to follow best practices on the buses.