I was in Jackson, Wyoming, on business last week. Jackson and Teton County have a population of about 20,000, or one-tenth that of Boise - but Jacksonians enjoy bus service from Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit from 6:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night, as this sign attests. What's more, the in-town circulator bus is free. Did I mention it runs seven days a week?
START is funded by city and county tax dollars as well as some federal money. In addition to the free in-town bus, a favorite with skiers this time of year, it has fare-based routes to Jackson Hole Resort and the commuter communities of Star Valley to Jackson's south. Next month, START will begin service to the Idaho side of the Tetons, with two daily round-trip runs from Jackson to Victor and Driggs. There's even talk of extending service to Grand Teton National Park.
START buses are beautiful vehicles, some of them wrapped in scenic shots of the Teton area. The system had 625,000 riders last year - a new record. I wonder how that compares to Valley Ride's annual ridership.