Feds to provide $2 million for park-and-rides | AspenTimes.com

Feds to provide $2 million for park-and-rides

Aspen Times Staff Report

A 2004 appropriations bill for the U.S. Department of Transportation will include $2 million in funding for park-and-ride lots in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.

According to a statement released Wednesday from the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction, pushed for the funding. The lots are components of the proposed regional Bus Rapid Transit Project for the Roaring Fork Valley, which will include a number of improvements aimed at speeding up travel times and increasing convenience in the bus system.

“Ensuring that this money continues to be available is vital to RFTA’s mission, and will guarantee them the flexibility they need to spend these funds to implement their Bus Rapid Transit program,” McInnis said.

According to the statement, RFTA is also working with U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., to secure similar funding through the Senate Appropriations bill, which is anticipated to be approved in the next few weeks.

The town of Carbondale and the city of Glenwood Springs will contribute a percentage of the cost of purchasing the land and building the park-and-ride lots. A local match of funds is required to receive Federal Transit Administration funding for improvements.

“Funding for the park-and-ride lots is an important step toward reaching our long-term goal of a faster, more convenient regional system,” said Dan Blankenship, RFTA executive director.

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RFTA currently carries close to four million passengers per year. The agency recently received the Colorado Transit Association’s award for large transit system of the year.