RFTA scores $6.4M in federal transit grants | AspenTimes.com

RFTA scores $6.4M in federal transit grants

ASPEN – U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, of Colorado, announced Wednesday that the Roaring Fork Transit Authority will receive two grants totaling $6.4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation State of Good Repair Program.

A $1.6 million grant will be used to purchase four buses that run on compressed natural gas to replace four aging diesel buses. Those buses are scheduled to arrive in early 2013. A second grant, for $4.8 million, will be used to complete a rehabilitation project in Aspen to add a roof to a bus-parking area.

“Public transit is essential to keeping our local communities and economies thriving,” Bennet said. “These grants will help RFTA keep its fleet safe and reliable to help workers and visitors get to their destinations throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.”

Dan Blankenship, RFTA CEO, said, “We are elated to learn that we have been awarded these much-needed capital-assistance grants that will help us modernize our 30-year-old bus-maintenance facility, modernize our bus fleet and make RFTA a more sustainable transit agency over the long term.”

The State of Good Repair Program is a competitive grant program that makes funds available for maintenance of bus and rail systems in order to provide safe and reliable service to daily riders. The senators wrote a letter in June in support of RFTA’s grant application.

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