Ken Hinkle of Pine Cove, a regular rider, waves before boarding the Idyllwild Shuttle going to town.
Photo by susan monroe

A white van with black lettering on its side reads “Idyllwild Shuttle.” The van, idling at the far side of the Pine Cove Market parking lot, awaited passengers. The driver will tell you the service is free — a free community service for everyone.

Ken Hinkle said he is “a regular rider,” and that he’s been using the shuttle from when it first began.Reba Coulter, Idyllwild Shuttle services manager, said the free service is the result of a grant by the Riverside County Transportation Commission in conjunction with Forest Folk Inc., a charitable organization with the mission of enhancing life for seniors. Along with the grant, she is grateful for the assistance given by 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington, as well donations from the Rotary Club, the Community Foundation, the Art Alliance and numerous individual donors whose help keep the shuttle service running. Grant renewal time is just around the corner, too.

The Idyllwild Shuttle has expanded its services and changed its schedule to provide more “flexibility, options and connectivity,” said Coulter. The schedule changes went into effect Monday, Feb. 26.

Formerly, the Idyllwild area service was every Wednesday and Friday. Beginning Monday, it will be every Tuesday and Friday. The following are the times and places where you can connect with the shuttle to get to town:

Pine Cove Market: 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

Idyllwild Help Center:10:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

Strawberry Plaza: 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Village Market: 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

If you require door-to-door service, call a day in advance to set an appointment.

Formerly, the off-Hill service was Tuesday to Palm Desert and Thursday to Hemet. Beginning Monday, Feb. 26, off-Hill service is Monday and Wednesday, and all shuttles will be routed through Banning. There is no set schedule. Idyllwild Shuttle asks that you call the day before you want to go off-Hill before 3 p.m. That way, a flexible schedule can be made to service you and others the next day.

It is not a new service, but Idyllwild Shuttle wants to remind riders that the shuttle provides service to bus and train stations along its route, as well as to the Palm Springs airport.

Pick up your schedule at the Town Crier. It’s orange.