New buses are rolling |

New buses are rolling

Aspen Times Staff Report

Twenty brand-spanking new buses have hit the streets in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Roaring Fork Transit Agency recently took possession of 18 new Neoplan 40-foot transit buses and two 60-foot articulated buses, allowing the agency to retire several of the oldest buses in its fleet.

The cost of the 20 new buses, including installation of mobile radios and fare boxes, totaled $5.56 million. The purchase was made possible by a $2.85 million Federal Transit Administration grant, and a $1 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation. The $1.71 million balance was funded by local sales-tax revenue bonds.

Dan Blankenship, RFTA general manager, said the new state-of-the-art vehicles have been well received by passengers and RFTA employees alike.

“Everybody loves them,” Blankenship said, “and I really want to thank CDOT and the FTA for their support.”

The 40-foot Neoplan buses have seating capacity for 41 passengers, while the articulated buses can carry up to 65 seated passengers. The articulated buses will be used for high-volume valley commuter routes during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

All the buses have been equipped with ski and snowboard racks and will have bicycle racks installed for the biking season.

In addition, the new buses use approximately 20 percent less fuel, and generate substantially less pollution, compared to the buses they replace.

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