Rail is reliable | AspenTimes.com

Rail is reliable

Dear Editor:

In her excellent letter on March 19, Lisa Markalunas only had space to look at the tip of the bus rapid transit (BRT) iceberg: this “RFTA on Steroids” (great choice of titles!) boondoggle will use large, extremely expensive fossil-fueled, monster buses, operating on the same highway as cars and trucks and subject to the same congestion as those cars and trucks.

The $14 million to $15 million price tag would provide only cosmetic changes to the current messed-up Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) system: cozy waiting shelters and glitzy electronic displays telling riders how late the next bus will arrive, etc. Google “Bus Rapid Transit” and check out the pros and cons.

As Lisa mentioned, a previous election was seriously skewed by the efforts of a certain valley resident. He was well funded by several local automobile dealers: in the vernacular, isn’t that known as “CYA”?

We still have a viable corridor between Glenwood Springs and Aspen, despite the best efforts of some trail advocates to carve it up for their own use. Which is more important to our valley: a reliable all-weather mass-transit system or a strip of asphalt used by a few in fair weather only?

Sure, a new rail system is going to be expensive, but keep in mind that rail cars have much longer life spans than buses, are cheaper to operate, more reliable and attractive to riders and, in our case, would operate on a separate right-of-way from automobiles and trucks.

Think about it: “A train to Aspen is possible.”

(Mr.) Jan Girardot

Glenwood Springs