A Steamboat Springs Transit hybrid bus pulls out of the Gondola Transit Center on Thursday afternoon. The city is planning to use state transportation grants to help purchase two new hybrid buses, which would bring the city’s total to five.

Photo by John F. Russell

A Steamboat Springs Transit hybrid bus pulls out of the Gondola Transit Center on Thursday afternoon. The city is planning to use state transportation grants to help purchase two new hybrid buses, which would bring the city’s total to five.

CDOT grants roll in for Steamboat Springs Transit

$667K from FASTER program to fund 2 hybrid buses, pavement upgrades

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Yield for buses

City officials want to remind drivers that state law requires yielding for Steamboat Springs Transit buses when their yellow yield signs are lit and flashing as they merge into traffic. Colorado legislators passed the Yield to Bus Law in 2009 to help buses merge into traffic after stops and to stay on schedule.

Drivers can be issued a ticket from $15 to $100 for failing to allow buses to re-enter traffic, a city news release stated. Contact Public Works Director Philo Shelton at 970-871-8204 or pshelton@steamboa... for more information.

— Two state grants totaling more than $667,000 will enable the city to replace at least one, if not two, of its aging buses with new hybrid models, and to repair deteriorating pavement at its transit operations center on 13th Street.

The funds from the Colorado Department of Transportation are part of the FASTER prog­­ram, or Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery, adopted by the state Legislature in 2009. The program implemented hotly debated increases to vehicle registration fees to boost statewide transportation funding.

“It’s nice that our community is getting some of those dollars back directly,” said Winnie DelliQuadri, the city’s government programs manager.

DelliQuadri said the first grant is for $504,000 and will require a city match of $126,000. The city contribution was placed in this year’s capital improvement budget, she said, in anticipation of the grant funds for which the city applied last year.

“Because of the age of our fleet, we need to be replacing two buses a year,” DelliQuadri said.

She said a new hybrid bus costs about $555,000. The city could order one hybrid bus in summer, she said, and would expect delivery 12 to 18 months later.

The city’s second CDOT grant is for fiscal year 2013 and totals $163,944. That grant will require a city match of $40,986.

“We will seek out other grant funds to enable us to finish purchasing that (second) bus,” DelliQuadri said.

Jonathan Flint, Steamboat Springs Transit operations manager, said Thursday that two new hybrid buses would increase the city’s total to five. Its fleet includes 15 full-size transit vehicles.

Flint acknowledged that the three hybrid buses in the city fleet carry “a few less passengers” than the regular, older buses because of interior configuration and design.

But the two new hybrids, he said, likely will be 35 feet long, rather than the current 30-foot hybrid length.

“We are looking to try and engineer a ski rack that can go on the inside of the 35-foot-long bus,” Flint said.

Public Works Director Philo Shelton told Steamboat Springs City Council on Jan. 18 that there aren’t ski racks on the outside of hybrid buses because of “a lot of conflict between skis and vehicle mirrors when we go down Lincoln (Avenue).”

The industry standard for the width of a full-size transit bus has increased from 96 inches to 102 inches, Flint said, meaning external ski racks could become a thing of the past.

The pavement improvements at the transit operations center are scheduled for 2012 and 2013.

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

Fred Duckels 3 years, 6 months ago

When I voted for FASTER I was under the impression that it would be used for roads. I now see why the Republicans voted against it. This is social engineering on steroids. Last year the city showed how the busses would pay out by using fuel prices that included taxes, that the city does not pay. I would like to see accurate figures from past records to see what we are saving, and how maintenance costs compare. I suspect that the carbon print per passenger mile is off the chart.

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sparkle 3 years, 6 months ago

way to go grant writers and public transportation advocates. fred prefers a road to nowhere that, even after being arbitrarily named after a heroic deceased town member no one can justify.

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exduffer 3 years, 6 months ago

Your right on on the carbon footprint Fred. A hybrid car takes 1000 gallons of fuel to produce. A bus that size what?, 3000, 4000, 5000? Fun to watch! http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-502623_162-4378323-502623.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

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