Support RFTAs 4A ballot initiative |

Support RFTAs 4A ballot initiative

Sabrina HarrisPost IndependentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

We are fortunate to have such an outstanding regional transit agency like the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) in our area. RFTA preserves the pristine beauty of our valley while enhancing the quality of life of every citizen of the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys by providing affordable transportation and minimizing the number of vehicles on our roads and streets. In 2007, the RFTA bus system transported more than 4.4 million people in this valley, and since August 2007, RFTAs ridership has increased 9.3 percent over the year. Thats a substantial number of vehicles off our already-congested roadways. And, keeping our air clean is also a priority at RFTA. Did you know that RFTA uses bio-fuels in all of their vehicles, and operates 11 hybrid buses? Modern and efficient transit is critical to our regions economy, environment and citizens. RFTA plays a crucial role in the economy by transporting people to jobs, creating jobs and allowing tourists to travel easily within our community. But the system is reaching a critical point during peak times; most buses are filled to capacity with standing room only. With the population growth in our area compounded by the increased demands for transit services, the system cannot continue to run efficiently without major improvements in technology, facilities and passenger amenities. On Nov. 4, voters of the Roaring Fork Valley and New Castle will be asked to approve Amendment 4A, a ballot question asking for a four-tenths of 1 percent (.4 percent) sales and use tax (4 on every $10) and to approve $44.55 million in bonding authority to greatly improve bus service in the region. Concurrently, Silt is also being asked to join RFTA as a new member. Amendment 4A will allow RFTA to implement Phase I of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). This new, improved bus service will enable RFTA to make bus travel times more competitive with the personal automobile and provide the valley with: 10-minute service during peak hours and 15-minutes during off-peak hours; greater passenger capacity, from 500 seats per hour to about 1,000 seats per hour; real-time passenger signs showing actual bus arrival/departure at BRT bus stops; new electronic fare systems and pre-purchase bus passes; low-floor buses for speedier and safer boardings; computerized bus tracking and dispatch system; transit priority improvements: bus bypass lanes and signal prioritization; enhanced bus stops served by BRT with electronic ticket machines and attractive shelters; and additional parking at key locations.RFTA has spent several years planning for this project, and if 4A is approved, the $6.2 million generated locally would provide the match needed for RFTA to secure $21.3 million in federal transit grant funds. Our community wants affordable transportation options. Invest your tax dollars wisely by voting yes on 4A. Saying yes will reduce traffic congestion, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and provide faster bus travel time, more seats, more service, cleaner air and lower travel cost. Your vote can help make our community faster, cleaner and cheaper. For more information, contact Affordable Transportation Solutions at 927-2414. Working together, we can maintain our community as a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

Construction continues on the trail improvements at Eighth and Midland and Three Mile Creek and Midland. No traffic delays are expected.Donegan Road between Stone-ridge Court and Fairview Drive will remain closed to through traffic Oct. 23-31. Access to Cedar Crest Drive and Orchard Lane from Donegan will be routed from the east during this period. Construction of the sidewalk and guardrail will be continuing adjacent to Donegan, and traffic through the construction zone will be one lane at times. We request all pedestrians and motorists use caution when traveling in this area during working hours. The city of Glenwood Springs and Heyl Construction thank you for your patience during this project.Sabrina Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.

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