Tips for bus drivers
Steamboat Springs Easy answer to this one, TIP JARS!!! i think a large percentage of people would drop a dollar in the jar for a free (Steamboat Springs Transit) ride, making the job quite attractive. Let the considerate help support this job, of their own accord.
Sell bus passes
You could also purchase a bus pass and just show it without having to dig for change. : My kids always had a pass and rode the bus everywhere. My oldest daughter rode it to school when she had a 7 a.m. class ... If you have ever ridden the bus at the peak of ski season you know that it keeps a lot of people off of the main roads. It is a great service.
Fair bus fare
When the bus service first started, there was a fare. Why not charge 25 cents : I know people will say it will be a pain to collect the money. It worked years ago. It works in other cities. Just a thought.