RFTA sticks with bare bones bus service, resists proposal to suspend operations
The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s board of directors affirmed its position to continue running the public bus system on “bare bones” service after a 90-minute, sometimes spirited discussion Friday morning.
The board endorsed service reductions the prior Friday in a special meeting. The cuts were put into place on Monday, but RFTA wanted to review the decision with the board again on Friday.
After hearing from staff, the board voted 6-2 to uphold the bus service at the current, reduced rate. Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes and Basalt Mayor Jacque Whitsitt dissented. They wanted to end service altogether during the coronavirus crisis.
The continued service was supported by New Castle Mayor Art Riddile, Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney, Aspen Councilwoman Ann Mullins, Pitkin County Commissioner George Newman, Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson and Snowmass Village Mayor Markey Butler.
Whitsitt said she believes RFTA is doing all it can to keep drivers safe, but ongoing service creates the risk of spreading the virus. She noted that the Colorado Department of Transportation suspended its Bustang service recently for fear of spreading the virus.
“If service continues, I would say mandatory masks on everybody,” Whitsitt said.
Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney said RFTA should hold off on a mask decree. That might result in bus riders competing with medical personnel and first responders for limited supplies.
Godes said he felt the bus service should be shut down because of the threat of community spread of the coronavirus. The Glenwood Springs council discussed whether or not RFTA service should continue earlier in the week, but didn’t reach a conclusion. Members wanted to see how the RFTA board voted on the issue.
The Pitkin County Commissioners and city of Aspen directed their representatives to supply the continued operation of the phase 3 service.
RFTA staff said even with drastically reduced routes, there were 1,450 boardings and departures on RFTA buses on Monday, March 30, the first day of the cuts. The reduced service requires 48 drivers per day.
Bus riders should go to http://www.rfta.com for the revised schedule.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s 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