START Bus Benefits to be discontinued for Winter 2018.19 Passholders
For the past 15 years, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has voluntarily purchased START bus passes for season passholders at a negotiated discounted rate. In addition to the direct benefit to our season passholders, there was a broader benefit to the Jackson Hole and Teton Village communities. Supporting START bus is in line with our community’s collective goal of working to reduce winter traffic levels for the benefit of our wildlife, our environmental goals and for all those who enjoy our mountain. Last year alone, JHMR spent over $100,000 for a discounted bulk rate purchase for this benefit, in addition to over $200,000 Teton Village Association (TVA) spends on bus service from Stilson and within the Village. The passholder purchase program has proven to reduce winter traffic levels, and has been an effective and positive program for passholders and employees.
In addition to increasing the cost to JHMR and Teton Village for employee START bus passes, as part of this process, Town and County has proposed to eliminate this private sector contribution to START for passholders. Town and County officials will instead be taking the discussion of this contractual obligation to their broader budget planning process for next year. Unfortunately, this will not be resolved before next ski season. As a result, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has been informed that we cannot provide the START bus benefit for our passholders for the 2018.19 ski season.
“This is an unfortunate situation that our Town and County elected officials and staff have put us in,” stated JHMR President Jerry Blann. He went on to note “this seems to be about policy, as we were never offered the chance to negotiate the rate for next winter. We hope that with public support we can help sway the elected officials to rectify this situation to reinstate START bus service for our passholders.”
For more information on the topic, click here.