Two agencies in eastern Idaho are in the running for rural transit funds provided through the Idaho Transportation Department.

This year the state is providing $22.3 million in funds for the cities, public agencies and private nonprofits that offer transportation in remote parts of the state. There are 30 programs that applied this year, requesting just over $23 million.

One of the programs applying in this region is Lemhi Rides, a public transportation service based out of Salmon and run by the county’s Economic Development Association. Lemhi Rides is seeking $328,432 for the next year, saying it relies on grants and matching funds to cover at least half of its operating costs to continue running.

The agency’s application said that it had provided 9,344 rides in Lemhi County between April 2018 and March 2019, including more than 4,000 rides for non-emergency medical transportation and 3,200 rides for the general public.

The other applicant in the region is the Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit bus (START) based out of Jackson, Wyo. While the system largely operates in the areas around Grand Targhee Resort in Teton County, Wyoming, the agency requested more than $1.7 million from Idaho to expand the shuttle service it runs to Victor and Driggs during the summer for resort staff and the public.

“The service will also serve as a trailhead shuttle for the US Forest Service Teton Canyon trails and reduce the need for parking facility expansion in areas of habitat for listed and sensitive species,” the application read.

Idaho Transportation Department is accepting public comment on the potential projects until Mar. 4, which can be submitted to Kristina Laskin at


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