RFTA needs support
Dear Editor:Vote yes on RFTA. Why? RFTA is vital to the economic and social health of this area. Without the service we now have, businesses would suffer, workers would be unable to get to their jobs, youngsters couldn’t easily get around by themselves, the highways would be more crowded and the air more polluted. Without the proposed sales tax increase (for Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood the tax would add 20 cents to a $100 purchase) RFTA will have to reduce its budget drastically. Among other cutbacks, it is proposed that the buses stop running at 6:15 p.m. and that service from Aspen to Basalt be reduced to once an hour.In addition to transit services RFTA has the job of completing the trail from Aspen to Glenwood. It will be unable to do this in the foreseeable future without the new sales tax.RFTA’s problems are not due to mismanagement. A leading transit consultant has just completed an efficiency review and found that RFTA is a “lean, mean” organization that compares favorably, in terms of costs per mile, passengers per hour and revenue per passenger, with similar transit agencies.RFTA’s shortfall is a direct result of recession and 9/11, which sharply cut the sales tax revenue which was expected when the regional transit agency was created. RFTA has also been hard hit by increased costs for fuel and insurance.Please vote to keep RFTA running strong and to complete the regional trail. Vote yes on your local RFTA ballot measure.Anne FreedmanBasalt
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