Steamboat bus, taxi and shuttle services prepare to go into overdrive for busy concert weekend
February 20, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The last time Steamboat Springs held a bluegrass music festival at the base of Steamboat Ski Area, more than 12,000 passengers crammed into free city buses on a Saturday and made Feb. 25, 2017, the busiest day in SST's history.
This year, steps are being taken to ensure all transit riders during the busy WinterWondergrass weekend have a more comfortable experience getting back to their homes, cars or the downtown bars after the shows.
Concert organizers have partnered with ride-sharing company Lyft to make more of the rides available at a discounted rate.
The city's bus service will run extra buses to accommodate the crowds.
And officials from the ski area and the city have learned some lessons from the inaugural event last year.
Transit Manager Jonathan Flint said Tuesday, the city learned last year that many concertgoers utilized the Meadows Parking Lot when they came to town to catch the evening concerts.
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But when the music ended, and the concert attendees went back to the Gondola Transit Center looking for a ride back down, the resort's free shuttle buses that picked them up at their cars down the hill had stopped running for the night.
That meant several passengers had to squeeze into crowded city buses to make the trip back down to a stop across the street from the Meadows Lot.
"One of the big changes this year is that the ski area is going to continue to operate the Meadows parking shuttle into the evening," Flint said. "Then we won't have to ramp up the buses as much."
The city is still planning to have extra buses on standby to accommodate an influx of riders.
It will be similar to the system the city's transit system uses on holidays to accommodate a higher number of passengers.
Last year's WinterWondergrass festival featured more than 25 bluegrass artists and reportedly drew visitors from more than 40 states.
To learn more about the transportation options available to WinterWondergrass attendees, click here.
The bus schedule and a live map of the bus routes can also be viewed at http://www.steamboatsprings.net.
Flint said he thinks between the city’s bus service, lodging shuttles, ride sharing companies and Go Alpine taxi, Steamboat will be prepared to handle the extra traffic.
“It’s a great event to utilize alternative transportation,” Flint said.