Monday, November 17, 2003
The city plans to decrease bus service to save money.
Buses will operate only once an hour during the first hour of service in the morning and only once an hour after 10:20 p.m. Usually, bus frequency is every 20 minutes.
"It won't make everybody happy; I have to be candid about that," City Transportation Director George Krawzoff said.
The city bus system will start at 6 a.m. as always, but instead of cycling into a 20-minute system immediately, it will come once an hour for the first hour.
The area most affected by the change, Krawzoff said, will be those in Walton Pond at the east end of town who travel downtown to work in the morning. The first run will pick up riders in the Walton Pond area up at 6:40 a.m. and the bus will not return until 7:46 a.m.
At night, one-hour service will begin at 10:20 p.m., instead of 11:20 p.m. The last bus will run at 1:20 a.m. from the town to the mountain, 1:45 a.m. from the mountain to the condo area and 2 a.m. from the mountain area to downtown.
"Those are low ridership times of the evening," Krawzoff said.
The yellow line, which serves Colorado Mountain College and is an on-call service, will end at 9:10 p.m., instead of 10:10 p.m.
Krawzoff warned of the changes at a City Council budget hearing in October. At that time, Krawzoff said that to meet the budget, he had to cut back on services and could not expand his bus routes.
The city's transit system has the second-lowest cost per passenger among the 43 transit systems in the state, Krawzoff said. Like many mountain resort communities' bus system, it is free.
In 2002, the council said it would take $43,000 out of reserves so Krawzoff would not have to balance the department's budget by cutting service. At that time, he proposed running one hour later in the morning and ending two hours earlier in the evening. In the summer and shoulder season, he proposed service to stop two hours earlier.
Later Krawzoff found a $43,000 grant that freed up money to maintain the bus service.
The winter season schedule begins Sunday. Time schedules and routes are available online at the city's Web site, www.ci.
The city operates on two schedules. One is for the summer and shoulder season and the other for the winter season.
Krawzoff, who has had trouble finding a full staff of bus drivers in the past, said he has enough drivers to begin the winter season but will need half a dozen more before the city can operate during the peak season. During peak cycles, Krawzoff said, up to 50 bus drivers are needed.
The city is looking for more drivers and has training classes, he said.
-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org