Garfield County supports the Grand Hogback Service
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. With financial support from Garfield County, the Grand Hogback route will continue to serve the needs of those who need transportation along the west Interstate 70 corridor. The Garfield County commissioners granted $248,000 to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) to help fund the bus service that runs between Glenwood Springs and the western Garfield County communities of New Castle, Silt and Rifle.The certainty of RFTA continuing service to these communities was questioned when Rifle voters did not approve RFTAs ballot question of a 0.2 percent sales tax increase in the Nov. 7 election. But with the countys generous contribution, the future of the Hogback service is looking much brighter, and RFTA is very thankful for their support.The funding from Garfield County is decided on a year-to-year basis, and since the tax failed in Rifle, the city will still make a contribution, but it certainly wont be anywhere near the amount that would have been generated by the sales tax.The net public investment for operating and allocated capital to this route is estimated to be approximately $627,000 for 2007. RFTA started the Grand Hogback route in April 2002 for citizens in Rifle, Silt, New Castle and unincorporated areas along the Colorado River who requested RFTA to expand their bus service in their corridor. Since then, ridership has grown each year, with the largest increase in 2005 at 15 percent.With the countys support, RFTA is looking into expanding and improving the Grand Hogback route by providing a 6:05 p.m. westbound run. However, more support for service in the I-70 corridor is needed before the hours of operation and frequency of service can be significantly improved. The more convenient the service becomes, the more attractive it will be to a greater number of potential users. We are so fortunate to have such an outstanding regional transit agency in our area. The benefits RFTA brings to local communities far outweigh the financial contribution being asked from them. RFTA contributed to the quality of life of every citizen of the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys by providing affordable transportation while helping minimizing the number of cars on our road and streets. RFTA needs the financial support of all the communities it serves. On behalf of all the commuters who utilize our regional bus system, I would like to thank the Garfield County commissioners for their generous contribution to RFTA.Sabrina Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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