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JOSEPH

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

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Two years after the Wallowa Valley stagecoach shuttle of 30 years stopped running because of slow business, Jeff Benecke took it upon himself to resurrect the shuttle service on a smaller scale. Benecke, 57, is the president, secretary and driver of his one-man business, Wallowa Valley-La Grande Shuttle Inc., which provides transportation between Joseph and La Grande three days a week. After the previous shuttle service stopped running in 2005, Benecke sought the help of its previous owners and started up his own service, using his own eight-passenger Toyota van, which proved more economical than the former large bus. Many of those who use the shuttle service are people who shop in La Grande or need to catch the morning Greyhound bus. Benecke also shuttles freight from farmers or contractors, which he says is the more lucrative side of his business. The 70-mile trip costs $15 oneway or $25 roundtrip.

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