Aspen boosts Mountain Valley bus service
December 24, 2008
ASPEN ” Mountain Valley bus service has been changed to every 15 minutes in an effort to make the route more reliable.
The decision was made by city of Aspen’s transportation officials, who recently learned that they had a surplus of $31,000, owed to them by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, which contracts with the city to provide in-town routes.
So, for the rest of the ski season, the Mountain Valley and dial-a-ride bus service will have two vehicles. The service operates in 15-minute intervals, said RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship. That means the bus will leave Rubey Park on the hour, 15 past, 30 past and 45 past. The heightened service will run between 6:15 a.m. and 10:15 a.m., as well as between 2:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.
The Mountain Valley bus is notorious for being unreliable, mostly because it also serves as a dial-a-ride service for those living in subdivisions off Highway 82 east of town. Roads in the Mountain Valley area are steep and can slow the route down.
“The number of diversions that have to be made off Highway 82 make that service really unreliable,” Blankenship said. “There have been a lot of people who have complained.”
Those are likely the people who stand along Highway 82 waiting for the bus to pick up dial-a-ride customers who are sitting inside their homes waiting for door-to-door service.
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The route had two buses servicing it in the mid-1990s but it was eventually scaled back due to economic constraints.