Client | Sweetwater Transit Authority Resources (STAR) Supplemental Funding Study
The Sweetwater Transit Authority Resources (STAR) is the only public transportation provider in Sweetwater County.
How do you ensure funding availability and security for a critical public transportation provider that is experiencing annual operational losses?
Providing over 44,000 rides in FY16/17, STAR is predominantly funded with contributions from the County and the Cities of Rock Springs and Green River which are in turn used to match grants from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). STAR experienced an operational loss in FY 16/17 and anticipated another loss in FY 2017/2018. These operational losses were primarily due to cuts in funding from the local governments.
Realizing this was an unsustainable model, STAR hired the LUM Studio/WLC Engineering and Surveying Team to perform a supplemental funding study to identify new funding opportunities. Our team examined 11 major, outside funding sources and developed a matrix that assessed the ability to implement, estimated revenues, and identified pros and cons, variability of the revenue source, and requirements and restrictions. The LUM Studio Team provided the detailed steps needed to place the measure before the electorate and the requirements STAR would be subject to if the proposition passed. The LUM Studio team also examined internal funding options available to STAR. These options included advertising, bulk ticket promotion, contract services, corporate grants, fundraising, rentals and charters. Recommendations were developed for each of these options.
Upon completion of our report, STAR officials met with the local governmental entities that provide the agency funding to discuss the financial challenges and how those challenges were negatively impacting STAR’s clients, who are often the areas most underprivileged. As a result of these meetings, all three of the local governments that provide funding to STAR increased their contributions to ensure could positively operate.