Aspen wins $2.4 Million in transit grants |

Aspen wins $2.4 Million in transit grants

Staff report

The city of Aspen announced Monday that it has received $2.4 million dollars in grant money for transportation improvements from the federal government and the Colorado Department of Transportation.

For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, CDOT has awarded the city $1.4 million for the replacement of three buses and four shuttles used on the local Aspen routes. These awards represent how closely the city, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and CDOT work together to achieve shared transit goals, according to statement issued by the city.

“We will be replacing three 14-year-old buses with the $1.4 million dollars,” said John Krueger, city of Aspen director of transportation. “Without this grant funding, it would be much more difficult to replace these vehicles. The competition for these dollars is really steep throughout the state, and it’s a nod to our transit system and its riders that CDOT chose to grant so much money for this project. This funding could have gone to a list of other Colorado communities, so Aspen is very fortunate and thankful.”

This money comes through Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery grant funding, which are awarded competitively by CDOT. Local recipients are required to provide a minimum of a 20 percent local match.

“CDOT feels it’s important to fund transit projects like this one through (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) funding. If the potential is there to get more folks using transit options and out of cars, then it’s helping preserve the life span of the highways,” said Mark Rogers, CDOT regional planning manager.

In addition to bus replacement funding, the city, in partnership with RFTA, has secured $3 million in funds for the Rubey Park remodel project. This funding consists of $1 million from CDOT and $2 million from the Federal Highway Administration. Construction will begin on the project this spring. More than four million riders use the facility each year, and the aim of the renovation is to address neglected infrastructure and create a more efficient experience for RFTA customers, drivers and operations staff.

“Again, the renovation of Rubey Park would not have been possible without grant funding from CDOT and the (Federal Highway Administration),” Krueger said.

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