Tourists and locals just want the best price and good service when it comes to the Red’s Meadow bus shuttle. The Forest Service decided the best was Eastern Sierra Transit.
Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch confirmed that the agency wants to “get out of the contracting business for buses.” He said the Forest Service opted not to renew their deal with
AmericanStar Trailways in Pismo Beach. The Vice President of that company, Robert Dockerty, sent a letter to Sierra Wave to say that his firm will go to court for an injunction to stop the loss of their contract. He wrote that AmericanStar “is in the process of initiating legal action for ‘unfair business practice’ against both Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and Eastern Sierra Transit Authority. He believes those two agencies conspired to get his contract.
Supervisor Upchurch disagrees and said the Forest Service had the legal option not to renew. Upchurch said an agreement with ESTA is in the works to include the Red’s Meadow route in ESTA’s town routes.
ESTA Director John Helm said negotiations continue over an agreement. Helm said that if ESTA runs the Red’s Meadow shuttle it would “integrate better with ESTA services in Mammoth Lakes. We would have authority over the routes to connect the Village and Main Lodge.” Helm said that ESTA is working to arrange for the lease of buses from MMSA this summer. If ESTA does get the deal, Helm said bus fares would remain the same as last summer.