Steamboat Springs Transit will experiment with a downtown shuttle bus this summer.
If city officials are able to prove their hypothesis, the shuttle running up and down Lincoln Avenue will take pressure off downtown parking and relieve traffic congestion.
"We've kind of modeled it after the 16th Street Mall in Denver, although obviously we can't make it identical to 16th Street," Transit Operation Manager Jonathan Flint said.
Tracy Barnett of Main Street Steamboat Springs said her organization will ask its members to encourage employees to park at a remote lot on the city's west side and ride the shuttle the rest of the way to work.
"The time wasted shuffling cars around in the downtown area to avoid getting a ticket is not only inconvenient but expensive," Barnett said.
The shuttle service will be based at the Stock Bridge Transit Center. The shuttle will be a 15- to 20-passenger vehicle. It will be timed in between the departures of the regular SST bus so that service from Stock Bridge to downtown will be on 10-minute intervals.
The shuttle will pick up and drop off passengers at the regular city bus stops along Lincoln Avenue before turning around at Third Street for the return trip to Stock Bridge. Westbound service won't be on 10-minute intervals because the main SST bus continues on to the base of Mount Werner. However, the schedule of the shuttle bus will be published so that riders know when to expect it at the various stops.
Flint said the number of regular mass-transit users is steadily growing during the city's tourism-slow seasons.