Skico donates to RTA’s campaign
The Aspen Skiing Company donated $5,000 Thursday to support the campaign to form a rural transportation authority – $4,500 to the Valley Moves! campaign and $500 to its sister, Pitkin Moves!
“We think this is a critical opportunity for the valley to come together and stabilize the base under public transportation,” said Skico vice president Bill Kane.
Voters in seven jurisdictions will decide this fall whether to form a new taxing district that would replace RFTA, the agency that provides bus service in the Roaring Fork Valley.
The lure for voters is the promise of expanded service, with buses running in and out of Glenwood Springs and Carbondale every 30 minutes. The plan also calls for 15-minute service between El Jebel and Aspen during peak winter hours. Currently, RFTA buses leave for El Jebel every half-hour, Carbondale every hour and Glenwood Springs every two hours.
But those in downvalley communities will be asked to pay up to four-tenths of a percent in sales tax to support the new organization. Pitkin County taxpayers currently pay for the bulk of RFTA’s expenses with a 1.5-percent sales tax that’s dedicated to transportation. RFTA officials have said that, without the formation of a transportation authority, they would be hard pressed to maintain the existing level of service.
“If we don’t pass this, our bus service will contract,” said Valley Moves! co-chair Randy Udall. “They’re just hemorrhaging red ink at RFTA. It’s not a choice between better service and the status quo, it’s a choice between better service and a system that’s smaller and struggling even more than it is now.”
Kane said Skico’s support comes for several reasons, but a big one is the fact that many of its 3,000 employees live in the midvalley and lower valley. “Rifle to Aspen is a community of neighborhoods, and the neighborhoods need to be linked,” he said.
Support Local Journalism
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
Amid the pre-Thanksgiving gloom of grim pandemic news here in Aspen, across Colorado and the mountain west came a small but significant dose of hope in the unlikely form of an Aspen Music Festival and School announcement.