KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Glacier National Park officials are searching for a shuttle service operator in northwest Montana after ending a decade-long partnership with the Flathead County in December.

The county provided free shuttle service to visitors since 2007, the Flathead Beacon reported.

Free rides along the Going-to-the-Sun Road are expected to resume this summer, park officials said.

“Flathead County has partnered in good faith with Glacier National Park to provide a valuable service that helps the Park manage visitor flow and helps visitors enjoy their experience in the Park, but the system as it stands is broken and county taxpayers have paid a high cost for little benefit to our communities,” County Commissioner Randy Brodehl said.

More than 138,000 people used the free shuttles in 2012, but that number increased to 255,000 by 2019.

Glacier National Park put out a contract bid earlier this month to operate the buses. Park spokeswoman Gina Kerzman said she hopes interested companies could expand the service.

The new operator would need to provide two managers, four dispatchers and 35 drivers, Kerzman said. Glacier National Park owns 36 buses with 14 to 29 seats in each.

“I don’t think visitors will notice a difference in the level of service with a new operator,” she said.

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