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Did you know? Curious about START Bus - Read Below
Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit (START Bus or START) is the public transportation system that serves the residents and visitors of Teton County, Wyoming. START Bus runs routes within the town of Jackson, between Jackson and Teton Village as well as commuter routes from Star Valley, WY and Teton County, ID.
Rising gas prices, increasing awareness of the need for energy conservation and unprecedented growth in our community have contributed to START ridership currently over 800,000 annually, more than triple the riders served just ten years ago in 2000.
START/Public Works critically needs a new facility for indoor storage of buses and adequate space for maintaining the existing fleet as well as the additional buses START will need.
The space available for maintenance of buses at public works is filled, to overflowing, with the current START Bus fleet. START cannot add buses to the fleet until a larger maintenance facility is available.
The current START Bus fleet represents an investment of over $7.5 million in federal, town and county funds. START Bus is currently operating out of the Public Works building and storing all of its buses outside. Storing the buses outside reduces the life of the buses as well as increases the cost and amount of maintenance needed to keep them running.
Storing buses outside results in increased fuel consumption and air pollution. When it is extremely cold in Jackson, as happens frequently in the winter, buses must be left running all night. On regular winter nights, with less extreme temperatures, buses must be started an hour or two before a shift to ensure they are warm enough to run. Both of these options result in the use of a lot of unnecessary fuel and unnecessary emissions. It has been estimated at 8,000 gallons of fuel per year and over 170,000 lbs of carbon emissions.
START Bus service helps take cars off the road. Vehicle miles are reduced by over 3 million per year which translates into approximately 100,000 less gallons of fuel used. This reduction of fuel consumption results in a reduction of over 1.8 million pounds of carbon emissions each year.
START is a truly green transportation alternative and this facility will only increase START’s positive effect on the environment. A facility allowing for indoor storage of the fleet will allow START to run biodiesel year-round. The new facility will allow for expanded service which will further contribute to a reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
The facility will be designed to meet green building standards necessary to be granted LEEDs Silver Status Certification.
The new facility (when fully completed) will be used to maintain vehicles operated by START Bus, Town Public Works, Police Department, Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department.
The Town of Jackson and Teton County has purchased the land for this facility. $2.5 million of SPET for the facility was approved by the voters in 2008. These funds were used to pay a portion of the land acquisition cost.