COLORADO — The Colorado Department of Transportation is receiving nearly $23 million in federal grants that will be used by local partners to improve green public transit in the Roaring Fork Valley.
“I’m thrilled to get this additional support for our state’s high performing rapid bus service in the Roaring Fork Valley with two grants that will help upgrade and modernize the Snowmass Transit Station and support operations. of a larger and increasingly electric fleet at the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority,” Governor Jared Polis said. “This is a great collaboration, and we look forward to continued federal investment in our rapidly growing regions.”
Funding comes from the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facility Grant Program, which provides states with resources to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment. The state, working with local partners, will seek additional federal support to expand transit in this corridor and other critical corridors, providing more options for consumers.
“RFTA is a vital connector for the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys, allowing people to get to work and school and enjoy our incredible mountain communities. This federal grant will allow RFTA to continue to improve the efficiency of the regional bus system and better connect our communities and economies in the Valley,” said U.S. Senator Michael Bennett.
RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship, CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew, Senator Michael Bennett and Senator John Hickenlooper took a ride on one of RFTA’s new electric buses to learn about rapid transit by bus in the Roaring Fork Valley. State and local partners will pursue an upcoming federal grant to support expanded RFTA operations in Glenwood Springs as well as better transit connections to nearby communities along the I-70 corridor.
“More federal grant dollars for Coloradans!” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, who serves on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “Connecting our rural towns to clean public transit is a win for communities and the environment.”
CDOT is receiving $9.4 million on behalf of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority to build a bus maintenance and storage facility and support charging infrastructure. RFTA serves the Roaring Fork Valley, with service extending from Aspen to Rifle and serving Basalt, Snowmass Village, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. The project will also enable RFTA to improve its maintenance capabilities to support a larger and modern zero-emissions fleet.
“With Garfield County’s population expected to grow more than 50% over the next 30 years, RFTA requires larger facilities to support the fleet needed to meet the projected increase in ridership,” said Dan. Blankenship, managing director of RFTA. “In future years, the facility will also allow RFTA to transition to a fleet of zero-emission vehicles and operate them on its regional commuter routes serving communities along the I-70 and Highway 82 corridors.”
Meanwhile, CDOT is also securing a $13.5 million grant on behalf of the Town of Snowmass Village to build a multi-modal transit station that will improve regional and local bus operations. CDOT’s 10-year plan also supports this important project, which will include bicycle and pedestrian improvements, accessibility features, and safety measures for future pedestrian and vehicle touchpoints.
“The city is grateful for this financial partnership,” said Snowmass Village City Manager Clint Kinney. “This new transit hub will be a critical piece of infrastructure that will help the community achieve many of our environmental, transportation and resilience goals. The grant allows us to carry out this project.
“RFTA stands out as a national leader in providing high-level public transit service and connecting communities and people in a dynamic corridor that serves a growing workforce and residential communities, as well as the economics of ecotourism,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “CDOT is pleased to be an ongoing partner in these efforts, not only by sponsoring this grant application, but also by investing in these projects under our 10-year plan as well as grants to RFTA and Glenwood Springs in the part of the main and ongoing revitalization program. improvements made to the Colorado 82.