Obama budget earmarks $24M for RFTA
ASPEN – The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s plan to significantly upgrade its bus system is getting a boost from President Obama, the agency recently learned.
The president’s fiscal year 2011 budget includes a $24 million grant to RFTA through the federal Very Small Starts Program. That money would be dedicated to RFTA’s expansion plan known as bus rapid transit, also known informally as “RFTA on steroids.”
“If this amount is retained in the Senate and House versions of the fiscal year 2011 Department of Transportation appropriation bill, and ultimately signed into law by the President, RFTA will be one major step closer to having all of the funding needed to implement its [BRT project],” Mike Hermes, interim BRT project manager wrote in a memo to the agency’s board of directors.
RFTA already received an $810,000 grant in the 2010 appropriation bill.
Support Local Journalism
Roaring Fork Valley voters have also approved bonding authority for up to $25 million for the BRT project, so close to $50 million appears to be secured. The project is envisioned to cost between $45 million and $50 million.
The project will include additional buses that make direct trips between Aspen and downvalley destinations with fewer stops. Bus stops will be upgraded and include real-time information about bus locations. Roadways and intersections will be improved to speed bus travel.
RFTA will hold a series of public meetings throughout the valley this month to discuss details of the bus rapid transit plan. The first round of public input meetings will be:
• Tuesday, Feb. 16, from noon until 1 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Recreation Center.
• Wednesday, Feb. 17, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Rio Grande Room near the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen and from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Aspen campus of Colorado Mountain College.
• Thursday, Feb. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the new Basalt library.
• Monday, Feb. 22, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Carbondale Recreation Center.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User