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Swan Mountain Flyer service between Breckenridge and A-Basin begins Nov. 20, with limited frequency; labor shortage leads to delayed start of winter schedule and reduced daytime frequency on some routes.
Contacts:Jim Andrew, Transit Director970-668-4161, firstname.lastname@example.orgGeoff Guthrie, Transit Operations Manager970-668-4162, email@example.com
SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit Stage will launch its winter public transit schedule on Sunday, Dec. 11, providing some service increases, relative to the current summer schedule. Limited service on the Swan Mountain Flyer resumes on Nov. 20, with increased frequency beginning Dec. 11.
This year’s winter schedule includes some service reductions relative to last winter, because of a shortage of drivers.
“Like many local employers, the Summit Stage is struggling with a painfully tight labor market right now,” Summit County Transit Director Jim Andrew said. “We’ve increased our wages in an effort to boost recruitment and retention, but we just can’t hire enough bus drivers to power the full winter schedule that we’ve had in place the past two years.
Earlier this fall, the Summit Stage raised its starting wage to $18.50 per hour, and drivers receive the competitive health and retirement benefits available to all Summit County employees.
“We truly believe in the value of public transit and all the economic, social and environmental benefits it offers to a community, so making service cuts is the last thing we want to do. But the current workforce housing shortage in Summit County has us hamstrung,” Andrew added.
In years past, the Stage implemented its winter schedule in mid-November, but the driver shortage forced the agency to push the start date back about three weeks to Dec. 11 this year. In the mean time, in order to facilitate travel to Arapahoe Basin, which is open for the winter season, the Stage will begin limited Swan Mountain Flyer service on Nov. 20, with four round-trips per day. Swan Mountain Flyer frequency will increase to nine round-trips per day on Dec. 11, with two additional daily trips between Keystone and Breckenridge on dates that Keystone Resort offers night skiing.
The Summit Stage normally offers service every 30 minutes on most routes during the day, shifting to hourly service at night. But this winter, service will be reduced to hourly during a midday window, from approximately 10:30 to 1:30. Riders are encouraged to refer to the timetables for individual routes to find specific details, available online at SummitStage.com.
The Stage is not able to offer its Rush Hour or Skier Express routes this winter, which provided supplementary commuter and skier/rider service on top of the regular bus schedules during the past two winters.
Half-hourly service on the Copper-Frisco route (offered only hourly on the summer schedule) will resume during morning and afternoon peak travel times, beginning Dec. 11. Relative to last winter, there will be no regular-service reductions on the Silverthorne Loop, Wildernest Loop, Lake County Commuter or Blue River Commuter. All winter routes and schedules will run through mid-April.
For more details on winter routes and schedules, visit www.summitstage.com.