Better buses worth the investment
It is hard to believe that the same old tired bromides are being trotted out as the valley discusses the proposed RFTA sales tax for improved bus service and facilities in this valley and beyond.
I was on the midvalley transportation study group way back in the ’90s, when the train idea was gathering steam. Study groups were formed up and down the valley. There were 10 to 25 of us meeting once a month for nearly two years. And those numbers were replicated by other groups in Aspen, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. Our discussions and tasks were lead by a team from Portland, Ore., I believe.
At the end of it, the conclusion drawn from all the study was that even with the ultimate buildout of the area from Aspen to Rifle, the numbers do not work for a train. Installing and operating a train in our valley would be very expensive, do little to impact traffic and run at a whopping deficit.
We do not and will not have the population numbers to justify the costs associated with building and running of a train. The BRT (bus rapid transit) idea was floated around even then, especially after the train idea was voted down at the polls. When the rail proponents say faster, better buses will not attract riders, they are simply wrong. Look at the numbers.
We are so fortunate to have RFTA in this valley; it deserves our support. So, let’s get on board with a workable program for the 21st century. For once we should get out ahead of the curve (unlike the entrance to Aspen stalemate mess) to be proactive with the only practical solution available.
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Each week, we pick out our favorite and not-so-favorite tweets (at least those that are printable) about Aspen and display them on Sunday’s page A2.