Snowmass pushes for free bus |

Snowmass pushes for free bus

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” Snowmass Village Town Council members on Monday were disappointed by the Aspen City Council denial of free buses between the two towns.

Snowmass council members agreed to table a discussion of the Elected Officials Transportation Committee budget ” which does not include free bus funding ” until Dec. 17 to hear from Aspen officials about the issue (see related story).

“This idea of free bus service benefits the city of Aspen,” said Councilman John Wilkinson.

“This is a way to get cars off the road,” said Councilwoman Sally Sparhawk, adding that it “boggles the mind” why the free service wouldn’t pass.

According to a recent survey, more than 40 percent of cars parked in the Town of Snowmass Village come from Aspen.

“This is Aspen’s problem we’re helping solve,” said Councilman Arnie Mordkin. “There is no Entrance to Snowmass.”

Snowmass Village Mayor Douglas “Merc” Mercatoris wrote a letter to the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners and the Aspen City Council arguing for free buses, saying the plan is good for Aspen and sends a message that the towns believe in mass transit.

“I’m interested in reducing dependency on the auto,” Wilkinson said. “Having it free is such a motivator.”

“I think that we have a collective opportunity to do something fairly important to solve what’s a problem for residents and guests of both towns,” said Councilman Reed Lewis.

Lewis cited the success of free buses in the summer as proof that the program works without having to “study it to death.”

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