A new, free in-valley shuttle service will begin service December 1 in Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, CA. Aimed at reducing the number of vehicle trips within the resorts to make it easier to get around, residents and guests in Squaw and Alpine will be able to use the year-round service at no cost.
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The new nonprofit Squaw Alpine Transit Company (SATCo) announced yesterday that “Mountaineer,” new on-demand transit services to be powered by Downtowner, an app-based micro-mass transit service, will begin operation in Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows on December 1, 2018. Residents and guests in Squaw Valley or Alpine Meadows will be able to use the year-round in-valley transit service at no cost by simply downloading the Mountaineer app from the App Store.
“It is incredibly exciting for the communities of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows to have this service up and running as the winter season gets underway,” said Keith Fountain, SATCo board chair. “We believe it will quickly become a popular way for both residents and guests lodging in each of the valleys to get around Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows without their car.”
Mountaineer will operate on-demand seven days per week from 7 am to 9 pm in Squaw Valley and Saturdays and Sundays in Alpine Meadows from 7 am to 6 pm between December 1, 2018, and April 30, 2019. Seven dog-friendly 10-person 4WD Sprinter-type vans equipped with ski and snowboard racks and two ADA vehicles of similar capacity will be used to offer free transportation—from anywhere to anywhere—within the two valleys.
The Mountaineer app will always have the most updated information related to hours of operation throughout the season and during off-peak seasons. Inter-valley transportation services will continue to be offered between the two mountains via the Squaw Alpine Express.
“Our on-demand transit services have been used successfully in other mountain communities like Aspen, Park City, and Beaver Creek,” said Stephen Murray, co-founder of Downtowner. “Users simply open the app, request a ride from the location they’re at, and our team of drivers will get them where they want to go. Our algorithms are constantly optimizing driver workflow, allowing us to pick up riders and group those headed in the same direction to help cut down on vehicle traffic.”
The intention is that Mountaineer will integrate into the existing Tahoe Area Regional Transit system to make it easy for those interested in traveling outside of the resort community to areas such as Truckee or Tahoe City without the need for a car.
The formation of SATCo is the result of a collaborative effort spearheaded by Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows homeowner’s associations, in-valley lodging properties, and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort. SATCo’s goal is to reduce in-valley trips within Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows by providing convenient, year-round shuttle service at no cost to the rider. SATCo will fund the micro mass transit system through the combination of a one percent assessment on lift tickets sold on-site by Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, and a one percent assessment on transient lodging and vacation rentals within Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
Downtowner uses predictive routing technology and real-time demand analytics to deploy smarter transit. The company provides cities and private entities with micro-transit solutions that bridge gaps in existing transit lines, lower the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips, and improve overall mobility. Downtowner currently operates eight systems nationwide.