Eagle County puts off bus fare hikes | AspenTimes.com

Eagle County puts off bus fare hikes

Chris Outcalt
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colo. – A vote on increasing fares for Eagle County’s bus system was postponed Tuesday. County commissioners want more input from riders.

The ECO Transit board, an advisory board to the county commissioners, has discussed for months how to cut costs or increase revenue to account for a decline in sales tax revenue in the county. Eighty percent of ECO’s budget is made up of sales tax.

The ECO board suggested increasing the price of the Leadville route from $5 to $8 and discontinuing the 30-day unlimited ride bus pass. The 30-day pass would be replaced with 10- and 20-ride pass options that would cost $2.80 and $2.50 a ride, respectively. Most ECO routes cost $3 per ride.

Ten and 20-ride passes for the Leadville route would cost $7.80 and $7.50 a ride, respectively.

“I do think a little bit more time is needed,” said Commissioner Sara Fisher.

The changes suggested by the ECO board also include charging $25 for a yearly bus pass for seniors and kids 18 and under, and could include reducing the frequency of service on the winter-only bus route between Vail and Beaver Creek.

Officials had targeted July 1 as the date to implement the new fares, but said Tuesday that date is flexible.

Annie Butler, a resident that rides the bus from Leadville to Beaver Creek, said she hopes more people will be able to weigh in on proposed fare increases in two weeks.

“It’s a fine line when you look at increasing rates and maintaining ridership,” Butler said. “I think it’s real critical we have input form the public on these propose changes.”

A hearing on the proposed increases will be held Tuesday, June 30 at the Eagle County building in Eagle.


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