Riders: Don’t cut service
Residents of south Glenwood Springs implored City Council Thursday not to agree to a recommendation to cut bus service in their part of town.Speaking at a council work session and an evening council meeting, frequent passengers of Ride Glenwood Springs said they would be left stranded by a proposal to cut back service to core areas while increasing service frequency in those areas.”I find it incomprehensible how the city is looking at cutting service for public transportation rather than enhancing and promoting it,” said Keith Giezentanner, who uses the in-town service to commute from Glenwood Park to downtown.The city Transportation Commission is recommending the cutback in service area, and also making the service free. A consultant also had recommended eliminating fares, but instead called for maintaining the current service area while reducing frequency.Both proposals are aimed at eliminating a deficit to provide the service, and each envisions building back up to former levels of service over five years.Council members deferred action on the matter Thursday night so they could gather more public comment at their March 3 meeting before making a decision.They heard Thursday from residents who rely on the bus service because they don’t have cars or have disabilities.Council member Dave Merritt, who represents Ward 5 in south Glenwood, noted that the city is counting on voter approval of a transportation tax this fall.Floyd Diemoz, a member of the Transportation Commission, said the idea behind focusing on service frequency rather than coverage area was to start with a bus service that works well, and then build on it.Marianne Virgili, executive director of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, said the commission’s findings mirrored those of a committee she served on two years ago that also studied the issue.”We came up with basically the same things. People have to have frequent and free, frequent and free,” she said.
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