Few complaints routed to RFTA after changes
There have been some complaints about the Roaring Fork Transit Authority’s route changes in West Glenwood, but not much about a recent 10 percent fare increase.According to Dan Blankenship, CEO for RFTA, the new route changes were made to accommodate service to the new Glenwood Meadows shopping center, while the fare increase reflects increased gas prices.”Overall the new route is working well for us, but we’ve had some complaints because of the hours of operation and transfers,” Blankenship said.The new route eliminates stops between Glenwood and the West Glenwood Springs Mall, which are now being picked up by the city’s Ride Glenwood service. However, service by the city bus stops at 8:30 p.m. – about six hours earlier than the RFTA regional service does – which leaves some riders stranded.Connections between RFTA and Ride Glenwood also are not always synchronized, causing some people to wait extended periods of time for a bus, or create a crowded, standing-room only situation.However, a scheduling change will be in effect today to help resolve the problem and improve connection times.”We’re also going to continue to have discussions with Glenwood Springs about expanding their hours of operation,” Blankenship said.The 10 percent fare increase hasn’t caused much of a stir among bus riders so far, Blankenship added.”We haven’t heard a lot of complaints,” he said. “Normally, for every 10 percent (fare) increase, you see a 4 percent ridership decrease.”But RFTA has seen a nearly 20 percent increase in ridership this year over last.”It doesn’t appear to have an effect on ridership,” Blankenship said. “It’s probably because of fuel prices, bad weather and that employment positions are up, because our ridership is kind of going through the roof, although we’re limited by the number of drivers and vehicles we have.”And as more businesses open up at the Meadows shopping center, Blankenship anticipates even more riders will use the service.”The routes changed in Glenwood so we could service the Meadows and I think people will catch on to it,” he said.For more information about RFTA and Ride Glenwood bus schedules and fares, visit http://www.rfta.com or call (970) 925-8484.
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Carrie Besnette Hauser considers her position as president of Colorado Mountain College to be a dream job.