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AT Shuttle Service May Die!! (fwd)
Ed Posted this on the AT page discuss the AT area - and I toought it
would be of interest to the list.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 11:00:22 -0500
Subject: AT Shuttle Service May Die!!
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I recently tried a 5-day hike on the Georgia AT (until Opal hit) and I
used a shuttle service to drop my car at the end of the planned 40 mile
hike. I got the names of several shuttle drivers through the Walasi-Yi
center @ Neels Gap. Most of the people that do shuttles are retired
folks that like the trail and outdoor activities and are looking to
provide a service for a modest fee. I made arrangements and the driver
was at the designated point on time and we had a very pleasent chat on
the way to the start. He was also knowledegeable about the local trail
and gave me some insights.
He also told me something that disturbed me and I'm posting this note to
solicit input about the new regulations that are being proposed for
these shuttle drivers. Apparently the National Forest Service has
decided that they don't like these folks making money from the AT
without them getting a cut. The current plan is to require them to pay a
fee to the NFS, get $1,000,000 in insurance, become a certified shuttle
driver and only drive on prescribed routes to certain locations. The
feelings of the shuttle drivers in the GA area are that it isn't worth
it. They will all likley drop out of the service rather than comply. The
costs of insurance, etc. are too high in light of their low volume of
shuttles and relatively little income. Most of these folks do less than
ten shuttles/week at a typical $1.00/mile rate.
I don't know if this applies to all of the AT or just Georgia, but I
would hate to see this service disappear or become so regulated that
it's too expensive and too difficult to use.
Are there any efforts underway to try to stop this from happening? Who
should we write to to try to correct this?