Area transit to see more money in next 3 years
Last week, the Colorado Transportation Commission awarded nearly $21 million in FASTER funds for about 30 transit projects across the state over the next three years. $1 million of the award will go towards technology improvements for Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) buses and in-town bus systems within Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Snowmass Village and for the Eagle County Regional Transportation Authority, or ECO Transit. The FASTER transportation bill, which stands for Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation & Economic Recovery, was signed into law by Gov. Bill Ritter in 2009 and specifies that around $10 million a year will be forwarded by the Colorado Department of Transportation to statewide transit projects, providing grants to local governments for transit projects, such as new bus stops, bike parking, maintenance facilities or multi-modal transportation centers. RFTA’s Planning Director David Johnson, took the lead on coordinating and submitting the 2011 statewide FASTER grant application. The funding will be used to help RFTA, the city of Glenwood Springs, the city of Aspen, Eagle County Transit, and Snowmass Village Transit acquire and share the cost of various ITS components that can be used to help all of the systems become technologically integrated in the future. ITS components to be purchased consist of scheduling software, an automated vehicle location/computer-assisted dispatching system, real-time arrival signs that let passengers waiting at bus stops know exactly when the next bus will pull up and automated fare collection. Over all, the grant money will allow our regional and local bus systems the ability to acquire the same type of IT equipment so they will be able to connect and operate with each other and the means to provide a better public transportation system to the region. CDOT’s Division of Transit and Rail will oversee and distribute the funds to assist these transit projects. Sabrina Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.
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