RFTA buses link Roaring Fork Valley
December 9, 2008
ASPEN ” Visiting Aspen, but want to make a day trip to the Hot Springs Pool in Glenwood Springs? It can be done without a car.
The Roaring Fork Valley operates the third largest public transportation system in the state of Colorado, with ridership in the range of 4.5 million last year
Buses operate daily between Aspen and Glenwood Springs ” the two cities at opposite ends of the Roaring Fork Valley, and there are connections as far as Rifle along the Interstate 70 corridor, west of Glenwood Springs. Snowmass Village is also connected to the system.
During the winter season, through April 12, 2009, the first downvalley bus from Aspen departs the Rubey Park Transit Center in downtown Aspen at 6:15 a.m. The first upvalley bus from Glenwood Springs leaves the West Glenwood park-and-ride lot at 4:05 a.m. The last downvalley bus of the day leaves Aspen at 2:15 a.m., while the last upvalley bus departs Glenwood Springs at 12:05 a.m.
The Grand Hogback route, between Glenwood Springs and Rifle, with stops in Silt and New Castle, operates from 5:15 a.m. (starting in Rifle) to 7:15 p.m., leaving Glenwood Springs for Rifle.
While Aspen’s in-town bus routes are free to ride, the valley buses that offer service between communities charge fares that vary by distance traveled. Most regular riders by punch passes (a family or group of people can all make use of one pass) that cut the cost of the fare by roughly 30 percent. But if you’re paying cash, the fare from Aspen to Basalt, for example, is $3. It’s $6 to Glenwood Springs. New as of last summer, the $3 fare between Aspen and Snowmass Village has been eliminated ” that trip is free.
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Punch passes can be purchased at City Market stores throughout the valley, and at Clark’s Market and Rubey Park in Aspen. They’re also available at Safeway in Glenwood Springs and Village Liquors in Snowmass Village.
Fare buses are designated with either an L for local, or X for express on the headsign of each bus. Local bus headsigns indicate the farthest destination served by the bus, which will make stops all along the way. A bus with the sign “L Glenwood Springs” leaving Aspen, for example, will make stops at Basalt, El Jebel, Carbondale and other points along the way, and provide a transfer to Snowmass Village. An “X Glenwood Springs” bus won’t stop after it leaves Aspen, until it reaches the outskirts of Glenwood Springs. Don’t get on it if your destination is Basalt or Carbondale. A bus that reads “X El Jebel/Carbondale” won’t stop after it leaves Aspen until it reaches El Jebel. (In other words, don’t get aboard if you’re looking for a ride to Basalt.)
Rubey Park in Aspen is located on Durant Avenue, between Galena and Mill streets. Schedules for both city and valley routes, as well as fare information and punch passes, are available there.
Valley bus schedules are also available at http://www.rfta.com or call Rubey Park at 925-8484 for information.