Transportation meeting today

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— The city will hold a state-mandated meeting today to gauge the public's reaction to the services it offers and explain the city's attempts to improve its transit system.

Funding for better buses may be at stake in the coming year as the city moves forward with about $5 million in federal grant requests to pay for a new and improved bus fleet and transit infrastructure.

The city and participants from the public and communities from four counties will also get the chance to discuss regional plans and funding for the state's highways with representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

"In essence, this is CDOT's planning process for road improvements throughout a 20-year period," Transportation Director George Krawzoff said.

CDOT uses the meetings to gauge how local communities feel about the state highway system and what improvements might be made, said Bob Wilson, a CDOT spokesman.

"A lot of times we may not know what part of the highway or specific section of roadway is problematic," Wilson said. "If you travel around the state, every section of the state has its own part of the highway that is of concern."

The local component of the meeting will allow participants to discuss their experiences with the city bus system, offer solutions to improve it and suggest how the city could spend future grant money.

The city bus system has been upgraded significantly in the past few years to accommodate more people and comply with regulations set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most of the money spent on the buses was from federal grants and was matched with city funds.

In the past year, the city received $1.04 million in federal grant revenues to pay for buses. The city has already received six new ADA-compliant vehicles that are in operation this year, five of which are mini-buses, Krawzoff said.

The city should be receiving five new buses by next winter, Krawzoff said.

When that shipment comes in, the city's 22 buses and mini-buses will all be ADA-compliant, Krawzoff said. Right now, the city uses ADA-compliant buses at all scheduled times but will sometimes take out a noncompliant bus at an extremely busy time, he said.

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