Klondike Tours Inc., owned and operated by Billi and Greg Clem, was awarded a $24,000 municipal contract Nov. 19 to extend their on-demand shuttle service through March 31, 2022.
The service, called Skagway Shuttle, operates 8 a.m to 1:30 a.m. Fares are now $3 in town and $7 past Dyea Intersection.
It’s a temporary fix that first started in July to provide transportation as Smart Bus only operated on big ship days, its schedule severly curtailed because of COVID-19.
“…I think that we can all agree that you’ve been doing a wonderful job,” Assemblymember Reba Hylton told the Clems. “I know I have many guests that used it for Sergeant Preston’s this year … and you guys went above and beyond to provide some wonderful service. Thank you for (being) willing to continue through the winter.”
Someone not so impressed with the original on-demand contract was Ann Moore, owner/operator of Dyea Chilkoot Trail Transport. She said she didn’t bid on the summer contract because she was promised by City Manager Brad Ryan that Dyea Road would be removed from the service area.
Moore said she was surprised to see Dyea included in the $6,000 per month summer contract.
“There has never been much call for service beyond what I have been providing all along,” Moore said. She wishes the Clems well and made it through the summer in part by renting out two of her vans.
As for the Clems, the extended contract is not exactly bridging home the bacon. “I’m making approximately $5/per hour,” Greg said.
Greg, who must always be within arms reach or his phone, can’t drink alcohol and can’t travel, said he’s running the shuttle as a service to the community. On Nov. 5, a snowy day with temperatures below 20 degrees, the company provided 12 rides by 7 p.m.
“It’s really something that needs to be done,” Greg said. ‘It’s not right to make them walk.”
Skagway Shuttle can be reached at 907-612-0902.