Guest editorial: Crusade to support free ski storage and encourage public transit expands
Follow-up: Vail’s offering complementary equipment storage to bus riders demonstrates their commitment to environmental sustainability.
October 5, 2017
I was pleased to see my editorial in the Sept 20-22 Park Record. In it, I challenged Vail Resorts Park City to provide complementary equipment storage to their guests who ride the bus. Doing so, I believe, will increase bus ridership and decrease car "drivership" which as we know, needs to happen if we are to meet the environmental sustainability goals that are so important to us.
Some people find a cause that motivates them to act and public transit is mine. Having a personal mission may lead one to persist, pester and go public. I continue to learn a lot about transit by communicating (often) with city and county transportation officials, bus drivers and riders, car drivers and friends with good ideas. I write letters to the editor.
In my earlier editorial, I suggested Vail might use a valet system to store bus riders' skis, poles and snowboards in boxes, or cubbies, available to them at resort entry points where they get on and off the bus. This would require Vail to provide hundreds of boxes and if they chose to use a valet system, to hire personnel to manage it. I know some guests would lose their box tags and the system could bog down with staff having to look for equipment without tags. Alternatively, Vail might use a lock box system where bus riders lock up and get their own equipment.
The issue of setting up storage so it is available only to bus riders is also challenging. This is important if it is to be a benefit that motivates guests to ride buses. Having traveled by bus to "the front door" of Deer Valley all last winter, I know well how comfortable, safe and efficient it is to take the bus to ski having to carry only boots and accessories. It is a much better alternative than driving and parking the car, putting ski boots on in the car, and carrying equipment across a sometimes icy parking lot hoping there's a shuttle nearby to get you close to a lift.
To Vail, I suggest that providing this benefit to bus riders broadens your zero footprint operations pledge to include a service while not a business practice for which you are solely responsible, facilitates in your guests the same pro-environment behavior you demonstrate. I purchased an Epic pass recently with some hesitation. If I nee to get back in my car with my equipment for safe travel to your slopes, I will be exhibiting the very behavior we have for so long been trying to minimize. I'm part of our traffic problem again.
To Vail, I'm not interested in the glamour of complementary ski/snowboard storage. Rather by providing it to your guests who ride the bus you become a strong public transit partner, as well you should be. You are the big guy in town; what you do makes a difference.
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It's almost time to ski. I repeat my request that others who support Vail providing complementary equipment storage for bus riders contact them at: email@example.com. They may "hear" us where they will not "hear" me. With this service in place, and if you are not already doing so, I hope you will become one of Vail's bus riders. I also request that hotel staff explain our free transit system to their guests and urge them to use it.
I look forward to meeting you on the bus. I talk with many riders who do not own cars. It will take a lot more of us who do, to ride our buses and decrease the amount of traffic on our roads.
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