Guest Opinion: ‘Yes’ on RFTA’s 7A a win for Glenwood Springs
We are fortunate to have RFTA, the second largest transit agency in Colorado, serving our region. We urge you to vote “yes” on 7A, to keep RFTA running strong for the next 30 years.
Traffic in Glenwood Springs is projected to grow by 34 percent in the next 20 years due to growth projected for the Roaring Fork Valley and Western Garfield County.
In the narrow valley that is Glenwood Springs, we cannot build our way out of this traffic growth. That means we will be looking at more congestion, noise and air pollution.
What is our best option? Improved and expanded transit to help reduce the congestion on our roadways throughout the city.
The community of Glenwood Springs and its residents and businesses will benefit from a “yes” vote on 7A. A modern efficient transit system helps us to reduce traffic congestion, noise and pollution that affects quality of life for all of us.
The RFTA services serve all of us, including commuters, workers, students, seniors and the disabled, as well as our visitors. A strong RFTA transit system is a benefit to Glenwood Springs and essential to the quality of our life and economy.
Did you know that many of the existing RFTA buses have served an average of 9.3 years and have over 405,000 miles of service? (We wish our cars would last that long.) With a “yes” vote on 7A, RFTA will be able to update its fleet over the next 30 years as needed, with modern, comfortable, quiet and clean running buses, such as CNG and electric vehicles.
In addition to upgrading buses, 7A will fund a safe pedestrian and bike crossing of Highway 82 at 27th Street, 27th Street station improvements, expanded BRT service to downtown Glenwood, a new transit station downtown, expanded service to New Castle, and a $4 million dollar contribution to the South Bridge project, Rio Grande and LOVA Trail projects, as well as other improvements.
Ballot issue 7A will cost homeowners less than $100 per year on a home valued at $500,000, while the tax on a commercial property is approximately $769/year for a property valued at $1 million. The operational benefits to Glenwood Springs’ services are estimated to be over $1.9 million per year, while the taxes generated by the city as a whole are approximately $610,702.
Not everyone can ride the bus, but many can and do when given good, reliable service. RFTA provides that service. It is essential to our quality of life to maintain and expand a modern transit and trail system. Even if you cannot ride RFTA, you benefit from the reduced traffic of those that do. Good public transit serves a vital role for many people in our valley and reduces traffic for all of us.
To learn more about the Destination 2040 plan to keep RFTA strong, visit: http://www.rfta2040.com. Please join us in voting “yes” on 7A.
This guest endorsement for Ballot Issue 7A was submitted jointly by Glenwood Springs Mayor Michael Gamba, and City Council members Shelley Kaup, Jonathan Godes, and Rick Voorhees.
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