September 5, 2013

Rural Colo. BRT line opens

Aspen, Colo.-based Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s VelociRFTA Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line opened this week.

The new service — the first rural BRT line in the nation — allows commuters from Glenwood Springs and surrounding communities to reach employers in Aspen, about 40 miles away, in an hour. That is roughly half the time the trip takes by regular bus service.

With buses spaced 10 minutes apart during peak hours and plentiful parking available at nine stations, the VelociRFTA system combines the convenience of rail with the lower cost of bus service, giving commuters an efficient way to get to work. The service combines travel in mixed traffic with designated bus lanes and provides traffic lights timed to improve efficiency.

The Federal Transit Administration committed nearly $25 million to the $46.2 million project through its Very Small Starts Capital Investment Grant program. The remainder was financed locally.

RELATED: "Rural Colo. BRT named 'Champion of Change."

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