Bus facility put on hold

Steamboat to delay construction of Craig regional center

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Plans to build a regional bus facility in Craig will be postponed until 2006.

City Deputy Manager Wendy DuBord said a combination of planning work that still needs to be done and $9 million worth of other city construction projects occurring this summer caused the city to push the project back a year.

DuBord said the city, which also is working with the city of Craig and Moffat County on the bus facility, still is finalizing the purchase of property for the facility and needs to complete the design and planning work.

With too many loose ends at the start of the construction season and with the work that the city's many other construction projects involve, DuBord said the decision was made to push back construction of the bus facility.

"We could tell early on there was no way we would get (the designs) done and the construction in 2005," DuBord said.

The city's 2005 budget earmarked $960,000 for the project. Much of the funding is anticipated to come from the Federal Transit Administration, and some funding could come from an Energy Impact Grant.

Steamboat Springs Transit Operation Manager Jonathan Flint said the hope is to have a regional bus facility that will hold four buses, have a passenger waiting area and provide parking for passengers.

Currently, Craig does not have any places for bus riders to park their vehicles before riding the bus to Steamboat. It also does not have indoor waiting areas for buses.

The city would like to build a facility that is the last stop on the way out of Craig and the first stop on the way into Craig.

"It really makes it efficient. It has those who normally drive not having to wait on the bus," Flint said.

The city is leasing a spot close to the Moffat County Fairgrounds for a garage, and it would like to use that space or a similar spot for the regional bus facility. The site also has to allow room for expansion, Flint said.

Steamboat Springs Transit runs three buses between the two cities, but Flint said it would like to have room to store an extra bus in case one breaks down.

"If we have mechanical issues first thing in the morning, we don't have to worry about having to suddenly rush over a bus from Steamboat. That would help keep it a much more reliable service," Flint said.

Flint said the number of riders between Craig and Steamboat continues to increase, especially with the two new coach buses the city began using last fall.

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